Maybe we’re just being nostalgic, but it seems there was a time when a police department could prepare for the worst without necessarily anticipating the worst. That’s not the case in Cleveland, where the police chief has maintained again and again that the city is not prepared for this summer’s Republican National Convention.

The city was counting on reinforcements from other police departments from around the country to patrol the RNC, but some of those reinforcements have pulled out after failing to come to an agreement with the city over liability.

The Associated Press reports that 50 officers from Greensboro, N.C., were ready to assist, but Greensboro Deputy Police Chief Brian James spoke with security experts who expressed “a lack of confidence in the city of Cleveland and their preparedness.”

“I was made aware a short time ago that the city of Cleveland will not provide Worker’s Compensation Insurance for our officers should they suffer an injury during this event,” wrote James. “This will cause the City of Greensboro to assume responsibility for any reported injuries of our officers serving in their normal capacity but outside of our jurisdiction.”

Also on Cleveland’s case is the ACLU, which accuses the city of dragging its feet on approving permits for protests and is not satisfied with Mayor Frank Jackson’s designated area for marches, arguing that the approved zones will keep protesters from direct interaction with convention attendees. The ACLU hasn’t taken legal action yet, but the threat remains on the table.

That’s not to suggest that the city is totally unprepared for a massive influx of politicians, media and protesters. Councilman Zack Reed recently announced that new public restrooms being built at Voinovich Park, which sits on the lakeshore behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will be gender neutral.


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