Security tightens ahead of Republican convention, amid dozens of planned protests, France terror attack

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Security is tightening Saturday around the Republican National Convention in Cleveland with top federal officials inspecting the site ahead of dozens of sanctioned protests -- and anticipate rogue events -- that have the potential to create chaos during the four-day event next week.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson inspected the main venue, the Quicken Loans Arena, with Transportation Security Administrator Peter Neffenger, walking through aisles and looking over the main stage on which Donald Trump is expected to accept the GOP’s presidential nomination.

Trump’s year-long candidacy has been marked by altercations between Trump supporters and protesters inside campaign rallies and angry protests outside some events, even forcing the cancellation of an event this spring in Chicago.

An estimate 4,000 law-enforcement officers from 74 agencies and 2,000 sets of riot gear will be on hand for the event, starting Monday.

(Federal officials said they will make similar inspections ahead of the Democratic National Convention from July 25 to 28 in Philadelphia.)

Eboni Williams, an attorney and Fox News contributor, on Saturday acknowledged that Trump, who is now touting himself as the “law and order candidate,” has gotten a bump in polls after a terror strike and that he has used the anti-Trump protests to inspire his base.

However, she questioned whether out-of-control protests in Cleveland will help Trump.

“If (voters) feel it is Trump who’s creating this chaos, it might work against him,” she said. “I believe they will connect the dots.”

An RNC official privately told Fox News that the official "event zone" in Cleveland is too small to ensure a safe convention.

The 1.7-square-mile perimeter is only about half of what planners wanted, a result of the American Civil Liberties Union winning a law suit that gets demonstrators closer to the action.

The 47 approved speakers, or protestors, will make their public addresses from a podium in the middle of the city’s Public Square and other public venues, according to

The city and its police department also approved eight applications from protesters who want to march along an official parade route on Monday.

At least 16 groups or people without official permits are also purportedly expected to hold protests across the city.

Among the groups with permits are Stand Together Against Trump, Peace In The Hood and the Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas group known for its anti-LGBT, according to

Security planning for the Republican and Democratic conventions also is now taking into account large-scale threats like the vehicle attack Thursday in Nice, a U.S. Secret Service official said Friday.

"There is nothing we leave to chance," said James Henry, the agency's special agent in charge in Philadelphia.

Planning for the convention in Philadelphia began in October, and security measures cover everything from people jumping fences to organized attacks, he also said.

In Cleveland, federal officials have already restricted road, air and water travel across the city, with security measures affecting passenger and cargo vehicles.

However, officials declined to comment on specific changes following the Nice attack.

The Plain Dealer newspaper reported Friday that scores of paramedics, doctors and nurses will be stationed in and around the arena, in downtown Cleveland to handle everything from minor injuries to multiple casualties.

The medical plan was developed over several months.

Ricky Stokes, 54, a downtown Cleveland resident, said he's comfortable with security, saying the city's been transparent with its preparations by providing town hall briefings with security officials on what to expect.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.