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Cleveland police bid for pepper spray supplies for RNC protesters, but will they arrive in time?

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Posted at 5:38 PM, Jun 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-10 17:38:27-04

5 On Your Side Investigators uncover new details about how Cleveland police plan to deal with violent protesters during the Republican National Convention.

Records show the city has put out bids for thousands of pepper spray-related products as it prepares for the international event.

Items on the "Invitation To Bid" forms include "Inert PepperBall Projectiles", "PepperBall 13 Inch HPA Bottle O-Ring" and a "Two Point Sling."   

"Think of it as a little miniature water balloon. . . when the PepperBall hits, it explodes and spreads," said Tim Dimoff, an Akron-based law enforcement consultant whose firm will provide security for people attending the event.

Dimoff said PepperBalls are often shot from bazooka-like guns and  are a non-lethal tool that allows police to disrupt violent protests from a safe distance.

The request for PepperBall bids closed at 3 p.m. and the city requested to receive the items by July 1.

"I think we still need to put some gasoline on the fire of preparation," said Dimoff.

"I think we really need to get some man hours, people, coordinators working a little harder on this because it's not that far away and If it would to start today, we're not prepared," he said.

A city spokesperson said the vendor for the security supplies will be selected during a Board of Control meeting Wednesday.

The PepperBall products will be paid for with part of a $49.9 million federal security grant Cleveland received from the Department of Homeland Security to cover the costs of  hosting the RNC.