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RNC To Whittle Extra-Duty Police
Posted May 31, 2012 by Josh Poltilove
Updated May 31, 2012 at 08:57 AM
Hundreds of churches, businesses and neighborhood groups hire off-duty police officers and deputies to protect their properties and handle crowds.
But during the 2012 Republican National Convention, “it will be necessary to temporarily suspend most of our extra duty services,” Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor states in a letter to her agency’s customers.
Alerting people well in advance gives them time to hire private security during RNC week, Castor says.
Hillsborough County deputies also expect to suspend extra-duty services that week, spokeswoman Debbie Carter says.
The Aug. 27-30 convention is expected to draw about 50,000 people to Tampa, and the entire Tampa police force will be working those days. In fact, Castor writes, there are so many things to do for the convention that officers will begin being deployed to the event Aug. 23.
Protest groups will arrive in Tampa that week, and police fear anarchists will come, too. So much security is needed that officers will come from throughout Florida to staff the convention.
“We certainly value you as our customer and as such want to communicate this change in our extra duty deployments as early as possible,” Castor writes. “Those officers that are normally assigned to your business or property more than likely will be reassigned to a special detail or to street patrol.
“We will have the same number of officers on patrol in your area as we do every other day of the year and we will provide officers with all information pertaining to extra duty assignments in their zone of responsibility. This will allow you to have a contact name and number in case of need. It will not, however allow us to provide a dedicated resource in the form of extra duty officers.”