Philadelphia officers to police DNC in regular uniforms

AP News
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Posted: Jul 07, 2016 6:44 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia police said Thursday that city officers taking the lead on policing the Democratic National Convention will look as they would any other day, wearing outfits with white shirts or blue shirts and dark pants.

When asked if police officers would don riot gear for the convention, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said city officers would be dressed in their typical uniforms. Members of other law enforcement agencies, such as homeland security, also will wear their usual attire, he said.

Officials at a news conference Thursday spoke vaguely of security plans and tactics planned for the convention. Ross said his officers' general approach to policing the convention will focus on strong leadership, flexibility and effective, professional enforcement.

"It is not only an expectation; it's what we train for, what we train to (do)," he said.

Crowds will generally be contained with security fencing similar to that used during the pope's visit last year.

Ross said police are "not looking" to use plain-clothed officers to infiltrate activist groups, an approach strongly criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2000 after state police used the tactic during the Republican National Convention held in Philadelphia.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Police, which will be assisting Philadelphia police during the convention, declined to comment on whether the tactic would be used, saying he had not been briefed on the group's planned security tactics.

The Secret Service released a map of its security zone plans, road closures and highway restrictions Thursday. Closures are planned to go into effect two days before the convention.

The convention is July 25-28. A number of closures and restrictions will be in place July 23-29.

Truck traffic will be limited on sections of Interstate 95. Other roads in the region will be closed.

Only authorized vehicles will be allowed on a 3/4-mile section of Broad Street, the main north-south artery leading to the Wells Fargo Center convention site. Protesters planning to march down Broad Street from downtown will be permitted to travel along a section of the closed road to a park near the convention.

Police said they've met with demonstration group leaders to discuss the logistics of larger protests. Protests are being allowed in a park across from the convention site.

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Online:

Map of restrictions: http://bit.ly/29CaILk