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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Jul. 23, 202001:11 PM EST

RNC service agreement outlines city security commitments 

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A City Council bill shows JSO would need to increase its personnel through aid with other agencies. 
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

The Republican National Convention emergency omnibus bill going before City Council on July 28 asks city lawmakers appropriate $33 million in U.S. Department of Justice grant money to pay for security.

City officials said July 22 they expect to be awarded the money soon after the city submits its application.

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said July 20 that there is not enough time or resources available to keep people safe at the RNC, scheduled Aug. 24-27 in multiple Downtown venues. The U.S. Secret Service is involved in the security planning, the bill states. 

Ordinance 2020-399, filed July 22, would allow the Curry administration to sign and enter a service agreement with the Republican National Committee and the nonprofit Jacksonville 2020 Host Committee that details the financial and facility obligations of each party. 

According to the agreement, the city would be responsible for temporarily increasing the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office personnel numbers.

 If approved, the city would commit to the following equipment and security duties immediately before, during and after the convention:

• Police escorts for RNC personnel delivering credentials to state delegates’ hotels.

• Armed security patrols for convention celebration venues.

• Armed security patrols for parking lots or transportation staging area with RNC-owned and operated vehicles.

• Security at hotels designated for protection in the Convention Celebration Security Plan.

• Special security protection for delegates and dignitaries identified in the security plan.

• Security for buses used by the RNC or its designees for official convention celebration business.

• Security to control the ingress and egress from the convention complex and the convention celebration venues.

• Construction and maintenance of security barriers and other obstacles at the convention complex and venues; street closures and traffic restriction measures.

• Security at RNC office(s) in the city.

• Scanning of all mail and packages at the RNC office(s) in Jacksonville. 

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