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Police upgrades for Republican Nat'l Convention approved

The convention is expected to draw up to 15,000 protesters, and organizers expect outside officers to be needed in addition to Tampa's police


By Amy Hollyfield
Tampa Bay Times

TAMPA, Fla. — After its most detailed discussion yet about security for the Republican National Convention, the City Council on Thursday approved the first in a series of police upgrades to be paid for with funds from a $50 million federal grant.

Council members voted to approve spending nearly $273,000 of the funds on a new armored SWAT team truck and another $1.18 million to modernize the live video feeds streamed from cameras in police helicopters. Up to two-thirds of the $50 million in federal funds, which the council also voted to accept, are expected to be spent paying, housing and feeding an estimated 3,000 or more officers from other law enforcement agencies that Tampa expects to need for the convention, scheduled from Aug. 27-30 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

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