TEGA CAY, S.C. — An NBC Charlotte Defenders investigation is revealing the widespread impact of Charlotte hosting the Republican National Convention in 2020.
NBC Charlotte is digging into everything from police resources to the economic impact in neighboring communities.
From Gastonia to Rock Hill and Union County, if you live in the Charlotte suburbs, you’ll want to see the results.
Some law enforcement agencies have already decided to assign officers to the event; others say they will not be helping out.
Those conversations about police resources for the RNC are underway in Tega Cay and other Charlotte suburbs. In Tega Cay, city officials said they’re still deciding if they will provide officers, and if so, how many.
“The chief has been having conversations with Chief Putney and others,” said Charlie Funderburk, Tega Cay city manager. “It depends on the request and the length of time they (the officers) would be needed.”
Other Charlotte suburbs have already made a decision. NBC Charlotte checked with several local law enforcement agencies.
Rock Hill will be assigning officers to the RNC saying it would be a similar number as they assigned to the DNC in 2012. Gastonia Police told NBC Charlotte they’re providing support as well. However, neither department gave an exact number of officers.
Concord city officials did not provide any information about police resources for the RNC; instead, they referred NBC Charlotte to the Secret Service for those questions.
The Cramerton Police Chief told NBC Charlotte his department does not have the resources to provide officers during the RNC.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office said, as of now, they will not be sending deputies to Charlotte because of the unknown impact the RNC might have on surrounding communities.
Funderburk also emphasized the importance of protecting people closer to home.
“Obviously, our priority first and foremost will always be the city,” Funderburk told NBC Charlotte.
John Lassiter, the CEO of the RNC host committee, said he’s confident the Secret Service and FBI will have a strong security plan in place.
“Without disrupting day to day life for the folks who go, ‘I’m not going to the convention,’ they just want to make sure their families are safe,” Lassiter told NBC Charlotte.
NBC Charlotte also looked into the economic impact for the Charlotte suburbs.
Gastonia city officials said they expect a financial boost similar to the NBA All-Star weekend, which increased hotel occupancy by 20%. In York County, tourism officials said they’re expecting a moderate economic impact, particularly with local hotels as well.
“We are bringing 50,000 visitors probably $200 million in direct spend,” Lassiter said.
Now, communities large and small are staying in close contact, as we get closer to the main event.
“When there’s a big event, or disaster or things of that nature, we are always on the phone with each other coordinating and communicating who needs help,” Funderburk said. “I don’t envision this would be any different.”
Funderburk said a decision about whether they will be providing officers for the RNC will be made in the next four to six months.