Surveillance for GOP Convention

Mar 1, 2012

Tampa City Council is to decide today on spending around $4 million to equip police with additional safety equipment aimed at controlling crowds at the upcoming Republican National Convention.

Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor tells the Tampa Bay Times that they're requesting basic crowd management gear - helmets, face shields, and body armor.  Officials expect up to 15,000 protesters at the convention, which takes place August 27-30.

Council members will also decide on a $2-million contract with Aware Digital to install around 60 surveillance cameras aimed at the streets of downtown Tampa.  Supporters say the cameras will allow police to monitor and respond quickly to any trouble spots.  The American Civil Liberties Union has expressed concern that the cameras would invade the privacy of downtown residents.

Tampa has been awarded a $50 million federal grant to use for convention security.

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- Protesters at Florida's last Republican National Convention in Miami - August 1972