CLEVELAND — The clock is ticking to the kickoff of the NFL Draft Thursday evening.
More than 100,000 fans are expected to converge on Cleveland to take in the excitement of one of the NFL’s biggest events.
Plans are in place to make sure visitors to Cleveland are safe according to city officials. On Tuesday, the city and police department released their safety plan during a Facebook live news conference.
The police department is adding additional manpower.
“Any police officer that’s not either out sick or already on a scheduled vacation will be working for the city of Cleveland starting tomorrow,” said Chief Calvin Williams.
CPD officers will be on foot, in the air, on horseback, and on bicycles patrolling the area. Williams said the department is also getting assistance from their federal, state, and local partners.
“We have a broad spectrum of what we are doing here,” said Special Agent in Charge Eric Smith, Cleveland FBI.
The FBI is canvassing the nation and northeast Ohio looking for threats against the draft. The agency will also have a command post set up.
“We have rapid response capabilities, our SWAT teams are on standby, we have our intelligence capabilities that can identify the threats,” said Smith.
The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s department will have a presence downtown.
“We do play a supportive role in any large event in Downtown Cleveland, “said Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Kozub.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol will be watching the traffic closely.
“We’re going to stay in our lane so to speak in monitoring the traffic flow in and around the city and highways. We do anticipate increased traffic flow during that time,” said Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Ray Santiago.
City officials also said safety forces will be checking restaurants and bars for compliance with state COVID-19 orders.
Police are asking the public to report anything suspicious.
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