TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa has hosted four Super Bowls, but the protesters expected to cram into the city for the Republican National Convention will be a different sort of crowd.
Police are trying to be ready. Tampa police have spent about $13.6 million so far on big-ticket security items, including 200 bicycles, 13 electric all-terrain vehicles and one armored truck for the Aug. 27-31 gathering.
In 2008, thousands of protesters arrived for in St. Paul, Minn., for the RNC. Some smashed cars, punctured tires and threw bottles in a confrontation with pepper-spray wielding police. Hundreds were arrested over a few days.
Congress has given Tampa and Charlotte, the location of the Democratic National Convention — $50 million each in taxpayer money to try to ensure everyone is safe for the political gatherings.