"In October of 2015, the Greensboro Police Department received a request from the Cleveland Ohio Police department requesting assistance to secure the Republican National Convention, which will take place July 18-21, 2016. Shortly after this request, we responded and indicated that we were willing to assist. Since that time, personnel with the Special Operations Division have been the primary point of contact with the Cleveland PD Staff. Our plan has been to
provide fifty (50) officers from our Civil Emergency Unit (CEU) comprised of officers from various divisions within the department. Since that time, several factors have developed which I encourage you to consider prior to our participation in this event.
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. In 2012, we assisted the City of Charlotte, N.C. with the Democratic National Convention and Worker’s Compensation Insurance was provided to our officers working this event. 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.
Last week we were made aware that everyone participating in this event must have a full medical physical prior to going to Cleveland. This is something that will not be provided by City Medical Services and would be incumbent upon each officer to complete. Although it is encouraged that employees have a physical each year, we have not made it a job requirement after their initial employment. Also, we have no mechanism in place to reimburse these officers
should they make a request.
We are currently experiencing challenges in staffing and are holding over thirty (30) vacancies in our Patrol Division. In addition, many of our CEU officers that are scheduled to assist in Cleveland are assigned to Patrol. With this in mind, I have significant concerns about staffing during a time of year that has historically been our most active regarding calls for service.
In recently weeks, I have spoken with Police Administrators who have experience in planning for an event of this magnitude and they express a lack of confidence in the City of Cleveland and their preparedness for the RNC. Due to this reason, they declined to send officers from their jurisdictions. While we always make a concerted effort to assist our law enforcement partners, we have a responsibility to ensure that we are sending our officers to an event that is well
planned and that we do not leave ourselves in a vulnerable situation here at home while we send our officers to assist in another jurisdiction. After considering these factors, my recommendation is that we withdraw our offer to assist the Cleveland Police Department. If it is ultimately decided that the GPD will assist, we will continue with our efforts to prepare and as always will perform to the best of our ability. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Brian L. James
Deputy Chief of Police