Monday, April 21, 2008

DNC security contracts await funding

Denver is still waiting for fed money to sign up out-of-town cops for security at the Democratic National Convention:

Denver expects to sign contracts in the next few weeks with dozens of police and emergency agencies that will help protect the city during the 2008 Democratic National Convention, clearing one of the most significant milestones in the city's preparation for the August event.

The mayor's office has been awaiting approval from the Department of Justice on what costs can be reimbursed from the $50 million appropriated to the city by Congress in December.

Katherine Archuleta, the mayoral liaison to the convention, said the DOJ has been working since January and significant progress was made last week. However, she said, "we can't commit to any funding" until the approval is received. .

Denver police Chief Gerry Whitman has said the department has 1,450 officers but can deploy only 800 per shift during convention week. Whitman has said he would work with more than 40 area law enforcement agencies to assemble between 2,000 and 2,500 officers for convention coverage.

Including the National Guard, New York had perhaps 20,000 security personnel in and around the Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden in 2004.

Update: DemocracyNow!'s Amy Goodman interviewed Mark Cohen of Re!create68 and Mark Silverstein of the Colorado ACL!U. Nothing new, but I like this from Cohen:
We’re . . . staging what we’re calling the Festival of Democracy, which will be a five-day event in downtown Denver, during which we will have trainings, workshops, teach-ins, and provide people the opportunity to come together and learn about alternatives to the two-party system, solutions that communities can provide to their own problems. We’re also, during that, going to have a 24/7 free health clinic, legal services, two feedings a day in cooperation with Food Not Bombs and other services for the community.
Mmmmmm, feedings. EP has more and other.

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