Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Agencies share Republican National Convention communications center

TAMPA — In a projection screen-filled room, phones and placards dot 24 long tables. U.S. Secret Service. Department of Homeland Security. Federal Emergency Management Agency. Tampa Electric.

About 60 agencies will convene at this secret location during the Republican National Convention, working side-by-side to improve communication.

The Multi-Agency Communications Center isn't the hub of RNC security decision-making. Instead, it's a place to coordinate between agencies — similar to command centers pulled together when hurricanes hit. However, this time authorities had months to plan, which could be especially useful if Tropical Storm Isaac hits Tampa Bay.

The large screens can project traffic patterns, stream video from the cameras posted downtown and display power grid maps and breaking news reports.

If, for example, protesters have tampered with a fire hydrant, authorities can pull up a map and streaming video of the location and coordinate with public works officials and law enforcement to secure the area and repair the hydrant.

"We'll all be talking to each other, so we cut out a bunch of confusion," Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee said Thursday during a tour of the center.

Each agency, including the FBI, will have a separate command center for its decision-making.

Tampa FBI special agent in charge Steven Ibison said Thursday that the FBI's roles during the convention will be intelligence-gathering and crisis management.

So far, the FBI has not gathered information of planned terrorist attacks during the convention, Ibison said.

"At this point, it's just the anarchists' criminal activity," he said.

And though Isaac, the storm passing through the Caribbean, has an uncertain path, the communications center is poised to work emergency management.

FEMA has a "mobile operations vehicle" posted outside the center. State and local emergency management agencies also will have seats at the table.

"From a hurricane standpoint," Gee said, "this is not a scramble for us."

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

Agencies share Republican National Convention communications center 08/23/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 23, 2012 11:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers

    Crime

    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  3. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  4. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)

    War

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.
  5. Trump awards Medal of Honor to Vietnam-era Army medic (w/video)

    Military

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday turned a Medal of Honor ceremony for a Vietnam-era Army medic who risked his life to help wounded comrades into a mini homework tutorial for the boy and girl who came to watch their grandfather be enshrined "into the history of our nation."

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23:  Retired U.S. Army Capt. Gary Rose (L) receives a standing ovation after being awarded the Medal of Honor by U.S. President Donald Trump during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House October 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Rose, 69, is being recognized for risking his life while serving as a medic with the 5th Special Force Group and the Military Assistance Command Studies and Observations Group during ‘Operation Tailwind’ in September 1970. Ignoring his own injuries, Rose helped treat 50 soldiers over four days when his unit joined local fighters to attack North Vietnamese forces in Laos - officially off limits for combat at the time.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 775062921