Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden said he has major security concerns about the Republican National Convention and he says his deputies are already taking special training to be ready.
In 2012, McFadden was a retired Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police homicide detective in charge of protecting the mayor, Anthony Foxx, who played a big role in hosting the convention.
"Wherever the mayor went, I went with him," McFadden said. "My role during the DNC was dignitary protection."
McFadden dealt with the inner workings of convention security on a daily basis. He said security was the tightest he'd ever seen.
"Unbelievable," McFadden said. "I've never been to any security detail like that. Secret Service — it is actually their party in our house— so we work very closely with them."
This time around, McFadden is the sheriff and is already preparing for the big event. From a dignitary protection team to making room in his jail for mass arrests, McFadden says he's genuinely worried about keeping everyone safe during that week next August.
"I've been in law enforcement long enough to say I'm concerned," McFadden told NBC Charlotte. "I hope it's a great convention, hope not an incident, but you have to be concerned about it."
During the DNC, McFadden says law enforcement literally got to know the people who were planning protests.
"We talked to them prior to coming, we talked to the organizers," he said. "We had their phone numbers, they had our phone numbers and we built true relationships with them prior to the DNC."
For the most part, DNC protests were peaceful. This time around, McFadden is worried the protests will have a different feel.
"I think you have to look at America, to be honest, and if anybody says they're not nervous, I would challenge them," McFadden said. "Look at the climate now, what we worry about. What I worry about is that lone wolf.
"It's a time for somebody to make a statement: I'm concerned."
McFadden says he's not sure how all the local law enforcement will work together yet. It's still a year out, of course, but he knows this will very much be a team effort.