News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Courts / Law

Tampa Police Chief Eyes Casts Wary Eye on Social Media during Republican Convention

convention center.jpg

The numbers are impressive: 50,000 visitors, including 15,000 members of the media from around the world. But what concerns Tampa police are the relative handful of people whose mission is to disrupt the upcoming Republican National Convention.

The recent protests at the NATO summit in Chicago are enough to keep some police officials up at night. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor says she's confident the city can keep the lid from boiling over during the August convention. Castor told a group of downtown business leaders she's learning how other cities handle protestors - including the use of social media.

" The ability to communicate instantaneously is something that we're very interested in," says Castor. "At that conference yesterday that I was at, the chief from Philadelphia was there, and they're having an event on July 4th. And they have a lot of issues in that city with flash mobs. And that's something we've never seen here. That's something that's never been associated with one of the conventions, and we don't anticipate that it will be."

Chief Castor says police will take every possible step to keep businesses from being targeted by protestors in the area surrounding downtown.