Convention security keeps protestors out
Cleveland, OH (KTVU) - The first thing you notice when you arrive in downtown Cleveland isn't the historic architecture or the public squares - It's the large black fences surrounding the convention site and media center.
The fences are part of the massive security plan put in place this week for the Republican National Convention. The fences surround the Quicken Loans Arena where the convention is being held, as well as the media center at the nearby Huntington Convention Center.
Approximately 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland this week - 15,000 of them are members of the media.
The 8 foot tall fences wind through downtown, cutting off roads and intersections. And at each site there is only one was out and one way in - Both guarded by Secret Service agents.
When entering either site, your equipment is thoroughly searched by bomb sniffing dogs. Laptops are turned on and Secret Service agents take pictures on digital cameras...just to make sure they're real. Agents even open up wallets, peering between credit cards to make sure there's nothing hiding.
Needless to say, security is tight.
More than $50 million dollars was spent on security according to the host committee. The convention is designated as a National Special Security Event which makes Cleveland eligible for federal grants to off set the cost.
A majority of that money was spent on securing the perimeter of the convention site, with the help of those tall black fences.
During our walk through on Sunday night, we watched as security teams practiced how they would shut the fence in case protesters got out of control.
So far, that hasn't been a problem.