St. Pete to be Reimbursed for RNC Security

The money will come from a federal grant earmarked for Tampa, the official host of the Republican National Convention.

Every St. Petersburg Police officer will be tapped for duty on Aug. 26, the night the city hosts the kickoff party for the Republican National Convention.

The City Council learned Thursday that it will be reimbursed with federal funds for providing the security for the high-profile political event at Tropicana Field.

Up to 20,000 GOP delegates as well as national media are expected for the party, the precursor to the convention in downtown Tampa.

St. Petersburg officials have reached an an agreement with Tampa for handling the reimbursement costs, since the federal dollars flow to Tampa, the official RNC host. The convention will run from Aug. 27-30.

Police costs associated with the RNC event will be reimbursed, but no specific dollar amounts were given. Mayor Bill Foster said the reimbursement, "is for all reasonable security costs for the event." 

The agreement is pending approval by the Tampa City Council.

Mark Winn, Deputy City Attorney, said Congress has approved a $50 million grant for security for the RNC in Tampa. All reimbursements for Tampa and St. Pete have to come out of that fund. 

Because the kick-off party was designated a National Special Security Event (NSSE) by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Foster said the city was eligible for the DOJ funds. 

Since Tampa received the money, the city had to negotiate with Tampa to get reimbursed for police costs. 

Previously this summer St. Petersburg learned the  for the event, would be reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Justice and City of Tampa.  

Foster said that up to 150 St. Pete police officers would be traveling to Tampa on Aug. 27-30 to help with the RNC convention, which is held at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. 

Maj. Melanie Bevan said on the day of the cocktail party all every St. Pete police officer would be working. They'll be patrolling the city along with outside agencies, such as Secret Service. 

Starting that weekend, the  along the perimeter of the Trop. Anything outside that perimeter is the responsibility of the city.

On Thursday the Council voted 6-2 to approve the creation of an "Event Zone" in St. Pete. Inside the zone on Aug. 26, there are restrictions in place on what you can carry, what you can wear and were you can go. 


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