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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa ready to spend convention security funds



No sooner will the Tampa City Council accept $50 million for security at next year's Republican National Convention than it will begin to spend the money.

Council members are scheduled to vote on receiving the U.S. Department of Justice security grant on Thursday. Then, in their very next item of business, they will consider spending nearly $273,000 of the funds on a new armored SWAT team truck.

Later in the same meeting, they'll consider spending another $1.18 million from the grant to convert the analog video feed from cameras in police helicopters to a state-of-the-art digital downlink.

Police say they would need both upgrades eventually even without the GOP coming to town Aug. 27-30. But officials want both in place prior to the convention, which could draw an estimated 15,000 protesters.

Story here.

[Last modified: Friday, December 30, 2011 5:58pm]


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