The Democratic National Convention (DNC) is being hosted in Philadelphia this Monday. The event is known for attracting masses from all over the country and this year there are several new risks to take into account: there is a triple-digit heat wave, there have been recent terrorist attacks in Europe, and there is a latent discontent toward the police that has killed eight officers. Additionally, police have to worry about protesters.
Philadelphia city officials assure to its citizens and the world that the necessary precautions and logistic plans were taken into account, and the city is ready for the DNC. Even though, Police Commissioner Richard Ross said that the police is cautiously optimistic and stated that it was difficult to plan for the unknowns.
The Commissioner traveled to Cleveland in advanced to better prepare for the DNC. Because Philadelphia is not used to mass events, Ross and some Philly officers, assisted the Police Executive Research Forum to learn, adapt and update techniques and “vital intelligence” from the big-city police chiefs. Ross added that they return to the city feeling confident in protecting and keeping under control the DNC.
Regarding deliberate attacks toward the people, additional barricades were put around the city to avoid a truck massacre like the one that took place in Nice, France.
After Dallas and Baton Rouge shootings that left eight police officer dead, the Philadelphia forces are on alert. Ross admitted that there has always been a concern about the security of the police officers – in spite of the recent attacks – but it is a dangerous job, and no one knows what are they going to face in the street. He also said that the police had received several threats, but they were not deemed credible, according to News Works.
When it comes to protesters, the Republican National Convention set a precedent in 2000. Police arrested more than 400 people during the event. But the Commissioner said he does not expect massive arrests. Ross said that the lesson was learned and that the law enforcement officers are going to be more patient and tolerant with the protesters and demonstrators.
Protecting the people from a silent enemy: the heat
Free water and sprinkler caps on fire hydrants will be used to keep assistants cool during the heat wave and prevent people from fainting. Medic tents and misting stations are set at the demonstration zone in the FDR Park.
One of the main concerns were the many protesters that planned to camp outside overnight because the heat could get to them or in the confrontation with the police, people could be affected, according to News Works. Camping outside is against the law in Philadelphia, but Bernie Sanders supporters insisted via Twitter that they were “informally” told by the city that overnight camping would be allowed.
The City of Philadelphia has informally told us that camping will be "tolerated" around the city, including in FDR Park at night.
— PhillyForBernie (@PhillyForBernie) July 24, 2016
Officials told protesters that campers would be evicted from the FDR Park, but Commissioner Ross said on Monday that the illegal encampments would be “evaluated as they arise.”
Source: News Works