Officials hoping for safe convention in Tampa

Officials hoping for safe convention in Tampa

Credit: Getty Images

TAMPA, FL - JULY 13: Tampa Police Department officer Keith Carlson stands near a door as a burglary suspect refuses to open up on July 13, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. The department continues to prepare for the arrival of the 2012 Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum August 27-30 where the party is expected to officially pick former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as their nominee to face President Barack Obama in November in the general election. Law enforcement is preparing for an influx of 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories as well as scores of journalists, guests and protesters. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on July 22, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 23 at 2:02 AM

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa has hosted four Super Bowls, but the protesters expected to cram into the city for the Republican National Convention will be a different sort of crowd.

Police are trying to be ready. Tampa police have spent about $13.6 million so far on big-ticket security items, including 200 bicycles, 13 electric all-terrain vehicles and one armored truck for the Aug. 27-31 gathering.

In 2008, thousands of protesters arrived for in St. Paul, Minn., for the RNC. Some smashed cars, punctured tires and threw bottles in a confrontation with pepper-spray wielding police. Hundreds were arrested over a few days.

Congress has given Tampa and Charlotte, the location of the Democratic National Convention — $50 million each in taxpayer money to try to ensure everyone is safe for the political gatherings.

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