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Cops’ Performance During RNC Week: Thumbs Up, Down?

Now that the Republican National Convention is a memory, we want to hear your thoughts on how the county’s law enforcement agencies performed.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers from agencies all over the Tampa Bay area converged on downtown Tampa last week to keep the peace during the Republican National Convention.

The Tampa Police Department estimates 3,500 officers from various agencies pitched in to keep the county safe as thousands of visitors from all over the country came to town, according to spokeswoman Andrea Davis.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office alone assigned more than 1,000 deputies to the downtown area during the convention’s four-day run. Other agencies from around the county also lent some of their finest to what was likely the biggest law enforcement undertaking in Tampa Bay history.

As the RNC unfolded, stories about the professionalism of Hillsborough County’s law enforcement officers began making headlines. Police officers brokered deals with protesters to keep the peace. They held their cool as some rowdier elements . They even kept it together when were dangled in their direction.

What do you think? Did the law enforcement officers of Hillsborough do the county proud inside and outside of the event zone? Do you feel like your neighborhood was kept safe with so much focus on downtown? Share your congratulations, complaints or thoughts in the comments section.

Some TPD officers even shared their lunches with protesters camped out in the downtown area dubbed “Romneyville” for the convention. Officers heard the camp was running low on food and wanted to help, Davis said.

“They heard they were short on food, so they shared,” she said.

The lunches were provided for officers working RNC detail, Davis added. “They just shared.”

In the county’s unincorporated areas, deputies were still on patrol, making sure communities stayed safe. While they were to every call, they made their presence known.

Hillsborough’s deputies were scheduled to work before and during the RNC. This left some wondering how well they’d stand up to the task.

How do you think they did?

RD September 04, 2012 at 03:22 PM
The officers that I talked with were all extremely nice and did an excellent job during the RNC. It's unfortunate that Tampa decided to make it look like a police state. It really wasn't but the appearances were discerning. From what I heard from my friends who protested, they also felt that the officers did an excellent job and were very nice. After all, all of our public servants are just like us so why shouldn't they be nice. On the other hand, the protesters also seemed to be very peaceful and nice. They wanted to get their feelings heard, not destroy things.
Jennifer Josi September 04, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I think they did an excellent job. With minimal arrests, and seeing footage of what has happened at some of the previous events with riots and everything, our area should be proud of the excellent job they did!!!
Sherri Lonon September 04, 2012 at 07:21 PM
How do you all think they did outside of the event zone in other parts of the county? Did they hold up OK considering the pace they were keeping?
Andrew September 04, 2012 at 07:41 PM
From all I hear, the officers (people) on duty were excellent. I must admit, however, that I find it sad that they felt compelled to have equipped the riot gear in the absence of a riot.
Daryl Dixon September 04, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Really… based on the past conventions I cannot understand why they would prepare for civil unrest...sheese what were they thinking? It is not like the Black Bloc and every other tag along anarchist had threatened to bring hoards of radical protestors to our city or anything! Great Job to each and every officer, they showed the Nation and the World the quality of police officers we have in this state! People forget that they were there not only to deal with those wanting to hurt people and destroy property but also protect the First Amendment Rights of those people who wished to have their voices heard peacefully.
Jennifer Josi September 04, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Sherri, to answer your question....I feel they did great outside of the convention rhelm too. Fortunately, it didn't affect me personally, but I did see quite a bit of presence on the roads out and about I-75 as well as the Brandon/Riverview area. Don't forget also, the protesters that made it to Big Bend and 301 to try to block the power plant.
Nancy Stearns September 04, 2012 at 09:05 PM
one is left to wonder what Mayor Buckhorn was thinking with the over kill on his part to make Tampa look like a police state...after all he is representing Florida'a Democrats in Charlotte and in my mind leaves me suspicious of his motives.....Tampa should be proud of how well things ran but why the riot gear? Nancy Stearns
Krystal September 04, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I was going to mention that! I think the power plant was the only instance of trouble, and I believe they also protested on the Ashley entrance to DT? Although they got up right away once they saw the blockage they were creating. I think everyone worked well together, which is a great relief. I think the only "issue" I had was seeing so many hateful comments from locals on the HCPD's Facebook albums. Talk about hateful, some of those people were downright mean!
Jessica September 05, 2012 at 02:15 AM
As someone who lives on Harbour Island, I can say that I felt extremely safe with minimal interruption getting on and off the island. All of the law enforcement officers that I came in contact with were both professional and friendly. After walking back from getting ice cream one night with my children, we stopped to speak with a few officers who were at their post on Harbour Island. My 4 year old son is beyond obsessed with becoming a Police Officer and was thrilled to meet the officers. The gentlemen could not have been any more kind and were happy to not only speak with my son, but one of the officers ripped his "Sheriff" patch off of his uniform and gave it to my son. Another gentleman gave my son an official Secret Service pin. Of course we felt safe with all of the police presence but more importantly, I believe that many went out of their way to make us Tampa residents feel comfortable in a chaotic situation.
Sherri Lonon September 05, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Jessica, what a cool story! I bet South Tampa Patch would love a picture of your son with his sheriff's office patch and Secret Service pin!
Budd September 07, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Nancy, look back at the RNC at Minneapolis Saint Paul. The "government" thought there would be no problems in their quiet little town. The protesters about destroyed their town. Lessons learned and BTW, the fences and barricades left here and went to Charlotte

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