As Cleveland braces for the onslaught of protests expected to accompany the Republican Party’s convention July 18 to 21, more than 100 Michigan State Police troopers will be on loan to assist law enforcement from Ohio and beyond.
Troopers will leave Michigan on July 16 for a seven-day deployment in the city, MSP officials said. The move comes after a request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. That’s a 2002 agreement penned by state officials with cooperation from federal and other state law enforcement programs. The agreement covers all 50 states.
But MSP officials said they do not expect the deployment to impact law enforcement operations in the state.
“In order to keep sufficient staffing back in Michigan, many of the troopers assigned to this detail come from staff and non-post positions, meaning that they are not routinely assigned to road patrol,” said MSP spokeswoman Shanon Banner. “Because we can pull members from across the state, we’re able to lessen the impact to any one region.”
There are 1,876 troopers, Banner said. Citing security concerns, she declined to say exactly how many troopers would be deployed to Cleveland.
All the costs associated with the deployment will be covered by the state of Ohio, said Banner. She said it is not yet clear how much it will cost, but after the event is over and troopers have returned, the final cost will be calculated and submitted to the state for reimbursement.
Officials also note this is not the first time the state police have deployed troopers to other states under the multi-state agreement. Deployments happened during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina aftermath, to assist in flooding recovery in Minnesota in 2009 and to address the aftermaths of hurricanes Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012.
Banner said the state has not received a request for assistance for the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia July 25 to28. Significant protests are expected there as well.
Michigan is not alone in providing assistance, but some governments have declined to send officers. Officials in Greensboro, N.C., as well as in Cincinnati have declined to send officers, citing concerns about safety planning, according to Cleveland.com.
Security officials have declined to identify exactly how many law enforcement agencies, and from what states they hail, will be involved in policing the event.
Troopers will provide security and crowd control outside Quicken Loans Arena, where demonstrations will be staged to protest the likely nomination of Donald Trump.
Also planning to rally for Trump are white nationalist groups, among them the Traditionalist Working Party. That group’s rally at the California Capitol in Sacramento last month resulted in a violent confrontation between anti- and pro-white nationalist activists. Ten people were stabbed during the confrontation, local media reported at the time.
Traditionalist Working Party is headed up by white nationalist Matt Parrott. He has numerous ties to various white nationalist groups and movements in the U.S., including the Traditionalist Youth Network. The party grew out of that group, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled “virulently racist and anti-Semitic.”
Parrott is tied to Kyle Bristow, former leader of Young Americans for Freedom at Michigan State University, which the SPLC has identified as a hate group.
MSP troopers have experience controlling crowds, including anti- and pro-white nationalist protesters at the Michigan Capitol.