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St. Petersburg will get nearly $1 million for police expenses

ST. PETERSBURG — Nearly $1 million will flow from Tampa to St. Petersburg to cover police expenses for the Aug. 26 kickoff party for the Republican National Convention at Tropicana Field on Aug. 26.

The cities reached the deal this week and Mayor Bill Foster signed it Friday, said police spokesman Bill Proffitt.

Tampa is getting a $50 million federal grant to pay for extra police personnel and convention-related security purchases such as police gear, vehicles and communications equipment.

Tampa will reimburse St. Petersburg $600,000 for overtime expenses for the kickoff party at the Trop and $80,000 for fencing and barricades at city facilities and on the protestor's parade route, Proffitt said. Tampa also will provide $270,000 for surveillance cameras and ancillary equipment in downtown event zone.

With 20,000 delegates, dignitaries and journalists expected to attend the welcome party, hundreds of officers will be needed to secure an Event Zone encompassing about 7.4 miles of downtown St. Petersburg. The agreement is expected to go before the Tampa City Council on Thursday.

The deal allowed the St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday to finally ratify an Event Zone ordinance so police can control areas around the stadium and other parts of downtown from Aug. 26 to Sept. 1.

The vote came several weeks after the council expressed concerns about passing the ordinance before Tampa agreed to reimburse the expenses.

Mark Puente can be reached at mpuente@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8459. Follow him at Twitter at twitter.com/markpuente.

St. Petersburg will get nearly $1 million for police expenses 08/10/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 10, 2012 2:23pm]
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