LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Tens of thousands of people will be getting ready to head to Cleveland next week for the Republican Convention, and more than 100 Michigan State Troopers are gearing up as well.
The agency has deployed troopers to other states in the past, mainly for recovery efforts in natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. But this assignment is a unique one.
This is the first time the Michigan State police will be assisting at a political convention and they’ll be going with a mission, to help cover crowd control and security.
“Troopers I’ve spoken to are very excited about this event and see it as a privilege and an opportunity,” Inspector James Shaw, Michigan State Police said.
Inspector Shaw is among the 100 troopers set to head down to Cleveland for the RNC Convention and he said while excited, he’s not so sure what to expect
“With any large event we prepare for any type of potential civil unrest and with a large event such as this, there’s a lot of groups there.”
We’ve seen it before; presumptive Republican Nominee Donald Trump draws a big crowd of supporters and protesters.
Inspector Shaw said a large amount of anti-trump groups have already applied for permits to protest outside of the Quicken Loans Arena, so if anything violent happens, he said they’ll be prepared.
“We train our troopers in mobile field force which is crowd control and dealing with potential civil disorder,” he said. “Our hope is that it’s a very positive interaction as we work with other law enforcement agencies to help ensure a safe environment for those attending.”
And even though dozens of troopers from Michigan will be serving in Cleveland for the seven day stretch, Shaw said business back here at home won’t be ignored either.
“We looked at troopers across the state, not only at our work sites but on staff positions and we draw in personnel from a variety of assignments to ensure that our day to day police services to the citizens of Michigan while these troopers are out of state, is not interrupted,” Insp. Shaw said.
Troops will take off Saturday and stay in Cleveland through the convention, which goes from July 18th to the 21st.