(FamilyRetirementClub.com)- The leading law enforcement official in Jacksonville, Florida, said it’s not possible for his department to provide adequate security for the upcoming Republican National Convention.
Mike Williams, who is the sheriff of Duval County and a Republican himself, said there is a lack of clear plans, not enough funding and not enough officers to be able to provide the security that’s necessary for the event. As he said on Monday:
“As we’re talking today, we are still not close to having some kind of plan that we can work with that makes me comfortable that we’re going to keep that event and the community safe. It’s not my event to plan, but I can just tell you that what has been proposed in my opinion is not achievable right now … from a law enforcement standpoint, from a security standpoint.”
While Williams wouldn’t say holding the RNC in Jacksonville is outright impossible, he also said he has “grave” concerns about doing so. He’s especially concerned given the protests that have raged around the country in regard to the use of force by police officers.
The fact that Republicans announced in only June that the event would be moved to Jacksonville, it hasn’t given Williams and his team enough time to adequately prepare for it. The convention is scheduled to be held from August 24 through August 27.
Another big issue, according to Williams, is a $50 million grant that was promised to help law enforcement has been reduced to $33 million, and there are also requirements on the funds that are too restrictive.
Another issue is that Republicans haven’t formally committed to a lot of specifics about the event. One big question in this regard is whether President Donald Trump will hold his nomination acceptance speech indoors or outdoors. This lack of specifics has prevented law enforcement with coming up with a set plan for how to set up safety and security.
The news website Politico obtained an email from the Florida Sheriffs Association, which asked police departments throughout the state for 2,000 volunteer officers to help with the event. They have only been able to muster 500 commitments so far, though.
“We do need law enforcement officers, and we’ve gotten commitments, but not to the level that we thought we needed,” Williams said. “And a lot of that is people having virus concerns from their communities, and I understand that.
“But there’s a lot of things that need to happen: an event schedule nailed down, and being able to sign contracts and spend money so that we can prepare for this event. And none of that has happened yet. So, here we are inside of 40 days, and I haven’t really pulled the trigger on anything RNC-related when it comes to finances or contracts and so, you know, only related to security, mind you, nothing, nothing related to any of this.”
Williams said that even if he had been able to start planning in earnest in June, with all details nailed down, it still would have been extremely difficult to pull off.