RNC police patrols will cost smaller departments

Posted at 7:47 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 19:47:03-04

A national security expert told that police patrols for the Republican National Convention could take a bigger toll on smaller neighboring police departments. 

Tim Dimoff said his consulting firm recommended that smaller suburban departments avoid the patrols, if possible. He said smaller departments will likely be strained trying to cover RNC duties while maintaining the peace back home. 

“The overtime and the collective amount of hours will be a tremendous cost factor for smaller departments,” he said. 

Fairview Park Police Chief Erich Upperman told that he could lose a third of his 27-member department to crowd control and SWAT assignments. 

“I may have to switch to 12-hour shifts in order to have coverage 24/7 to still maintain the same manpower here in our city,” Upperman said. 

Upperman said about 70 to 80 percent of the overtime costs will be covered by a federal grant. 

His department already spent more than $8,000 in overtime while helping Cleveland police patrols in the days following the announcement of the Michael Brelo verdict

“For us, it would be more of a hardship I think,” he explained 

Tampa spent more than $2.3 million on police overtime during the 2012 RNC convention. 

Dimoff said the security requirements during the 2016 RNC might be greater if recent conflicts with protestors on the campaign trail continue through the convention. 

“It probably is a bigger issue because you’ve got more sophisticated, radical protests groups who do more than just carry signs,” Dimoff said. 

Tampa spent $48.5 million dollars in federal grants during the 2012 convention.