- Written by Kenneth Doyle, MBA, CHSP, CHEP
On March 23rd Ray Davis CHMM presented a review of the Incident Command System (ICS) that was used in July 2016 for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. ICS is a key feature of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and is a standard management tool for meeting the demands of small or large emergency or nonemergency situations. With an expected 50,000 visitors and over 10,000 protest permits issued for the RNC, this was going to be a large undertaking. This was a National Special Security Event (NSSE), for which the Secret Service assumed its mandated role as the lead agency for the design and implementation of the operational security plan. The Secret Service has a core strategy to carry out its security operations which relies heavily on its established partnerships with law enforcement and public safety officials at the local, state, and federal, and international levels. The ICS was vital in keeping these groups working together.
During Ray’s presentation was notable that out of the $50 million allocated for the RNC budget, a staggering $9.5 million was spent on insurance for the event. This was five times what the insurance was for the convention in Tampa in 2012. This was primarily due to the strained police-community relations nationwide and a number of negative nation-wide incidents involving police and citizens. However, the presence, professionalism, and courtesy exhibited by the police forces during the Cleveland RNC were probably the best deterrent to any problems with the crowds.
In the end, the City of Cleveland and its partners achieved its goal of providing a safe and secure environment for all participants, news media, individuals exercising their First Amendment Rights, service providers, and general public during this event through their security operations, training, and preparation.