Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg police still finalizing security plans for RNC party at Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG — Fences and barricades could turn the neighborhood around Tropicana Field into a fortress for one day during the Republican National Convention.

The police station, a fire station and a Water Resources Department facility could be encased when 20,000 dignitaries, delegates and journalists invade the Trop for an Aug. 26 cocktail party that kicks off the convention. Roads near the event also will be closed.

The closures won't last long.

"It's a Sunday event," said police Chief Chuck Harmon. "The goal is to minimize the inconvenience for businesses and residents."

He expects the U.S. Secret Service to finalize security plans in the coming weeks. At that time, officers will go door-to-door to notify affected residents and businesses. Pamphlets also could be distributed.

St. Petersburg and Tampa police have been meeting for weeks about the event.

The city, Harmon said, could use the reverse 911 system to notify the public. The system notifies only land lines. If people want to be notified on their cellphones, they must visit the department's website to enter their cell numbers into the city's online system. (Go to and click on the "First Call" icon on the right.)

Harmon does not know how many extra officers will be needed for the party, which won't disrupt the city as much as the weeklong convention in Tampa. He said affected residents and businesses will have more than four weeks to plan for any disruptions.

"As soon as we have the information, we will publicize it," Harmon said.

Last month, St. Petersburg officials started drafting regulations for protests outside the event. The regulations should come before the City Council this month. As yet, no group has filed an application permit to protest the event.

St. Petersburg plans to buy a batch of cameras for $270,000 in preparation for events related to the kickoff party. The City Council approved the money last month, despite misgivings from some that the cameras will be installed downtown rather than in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

The federal government will pay the salaries of police officers connected to the event; the money won't come out of the city's general fund.

Mark Puente can be reached at or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter at

St. Petersburg police still finalizing security plans for RNC party at Tropicana Field 07/02/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 2, 2012 9:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Photo gallery: 20 mugshots of pro athletes arrested in Florida - 1994 to 2017


    In light of today's arrest of Tiger Woods in Jupiter, Florida on DUI charges, here are 20 booking mugs of professional athletes who have been arrested in Florida, from 1994 (Jennifer Capriati) to today (Woods).

    Desmond Bryant - 2005 - Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was arrested in Miami on charges of criminal mischief after allegedly "going to a neighbor's house inebriated and causing a commotion." 

  2. For starters: Rays at Rangers, with Erasmo on the mound again


    Coming off Sunday's 6 1/2-hour, 15-inning marathon win over the Twins, the Rays will have the pitcher who finished that game, Erasmo Ramirez, start tonight's game in Texas, first pitch 8:05 Tampa Bay time.

    Ramirez threw only 12 pitches on Sunday so the Rays decided to let him make his planned start tonight, …

  3. Curlew Hills Memory Gardens honors Memorial Day (w/video)


       Curlew Hills Memory Gardens honored those that served during their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with …

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor.
  4. Authorities release name of Tampa woman killed in Temple Terrace apartment fire


    TEMPLE TERRACE — Authorities have released the name of a woman who died in a fire that destroyed a dozen units in an apartment complex here Sunday.

    Firefighters battle an early-morning fire Sunday that claimed the life of 28-year-old Tenecia Renee Brannon and left about 30 others homeless. [Temple Terrace Fire Department]
  5. New Port Richey restaurant worker shoots attacker


    NEW PORT RICHEY — A restaurant kitchen worker shot and injured a man who entered the business and began beating him Saturday, according to New Port Richey Police.

    Vince Angelety, 29, of New Port Richey faces a charge of burglary with simple battery. He remained in the Land O'Lakes Detention Center on Monday, held without bail. [Photo courtesy of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office]