CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the city of Charlotte prepares for the possibility of hosting the Republican National Convention (RNC) in 2020, several Democratic leaders say they'll vote against holding the event, citing safety concerns.
The city council is set to vote on Monday on whether to accept the $50 million in federal money that would go towards preparing for the RNC.
Protesters have been a fixture at President Donald Trump's events and the RNC would be no exception. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokesperson Rob Tufano said it's still too early to comment about how much, if any, CMPD's started planning for the event.
"We had a successful convention here several years back," Tufano said Wednesday during the department's weekly news conference.
He said there's still an important process left to be played out but promised Charlotteans the city is prepared if given the chance.
"They can be assured, the community, the country, the world, Charlotte, that we've got the best and brightest police department on Earth, planet Earth, that will manage it if we're fortunate enough to be awarded that bid," he said.
It's not like Charlotte hasn't hosted a national political convention before. In 2012, the Democrats came to the Queen City for their national convention. The event, for the most part, was peaceful and the same could be said of the RNC two years ago in Cleveland, but there were some disruptions.
In 2016, two Cleveland police officers suffered minor injuries and 18 people were arrested at a protest outside the RNC as someone tried to burn an American flag.
After the convention, the Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams complimented Charlotte's willingness to give advice, singling out the former chief here who encouraged him to secure bicycles for police officers to help keep the peace.
"We actually took a look at Charlotte and Tampa," Chief Williams said. "We actually talked with former Chief Monroe in Charlotte."
Those bikes came in handy in 2012 as 35,000 people came to Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention, filling up 98 percent of all uptown Charlotte hotels, according to the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.
While most were cooperative, CMPD reports 25 convention-related arrests back then, mostly for people getting in the way of traffic.
A federal audit of the Cleveland convention shows no major safety issues, no major damage and no major injuries there thanks in part to the help of 2,800 officers from across the country.