Ridge Orders Secret Service to Cover 2004 Republican Convention

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

The Secret Service (search) will oversee security at the Republican National Convention (search) in New York, which is scheduled for the week of Aug. 30, 2004, within days of the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (search) said Wednesday his agency is designating the convention a National Special Security Event (search). That puts the Secret Service in charge of designing and operating a security plan and coordinating with state and local law enforcement "to prevent terrorist attacks and criminal acts," the Homeland Security Department said.

The Democratic National Convention (search) in Boston, scheduled for the week of July 26, 2004, received the security designation in May.

New York Governor George Pataki had requested the designation for the GOP convention.

About 48,000 people are expected to attend the event, which will create thousands of jobs for the city, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"The convention will also give us a tremendous opportunity to show the world how far we've come since the attack of 9-11 -- a tribute to the spirit of a great city in a free nation," he said.

There was no immediate estimate on how much federal aid the 2004 GOP convention would receive. The city has pledged $27 million for police protection, insurance, sanitation and other costs.

The U.S. Treasury paid $250 million of the $310 million security bill for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, which received the same designation. The 2002 Super Bowl in New Orleans also was a national special security event, and the federal government provided $6 million in security.