Cleveland to Purchase RNC Riot Suits, Batons, for $850,000


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  • Sam Allard / Scene
After a vote Wednesday by a city contracting panel, Cleveland has the go-ahead to purchase 2,000 sets of riot suits and batons for the Republic National Convention in July. 

The city will spend just under $850,000 on the purchases and will be reimbursed through a $50 million Federal Grant that's been earmarked for convention security.

Andrew Tobias, reporting for, said the city would pay Kentucky-based Galls, LLC $565,440 to provide the "control suits and accessories" (what had formerly been called riot control suits," and will pay Painesville-based Atwell's Police & Fire Equipment Co. $283,200 for 2,000 sets of batons, baton caps and collapsible baton holders.

Scene reported last month that of the $50 million grant, about $20 million was estimated for equipment. The remaining $30 million will go toward personnel costs: overtime hours for local police, payment and lodging for outside law enforcement, meals, etc. 

Police Chief Calvin Williams and Deputy Chief Ed Tomba have said that the equipment purchases, which will remain with the department long after the Convention leaves town, will not lead to a militarized force. Tomba stressed just the opposite at a security briefing at City Hall last week.

Much of the equipment, like 300 bicycles (and the reinstatement of a bona fide bicycle unit) will enhance the division's community policing initiatives. 

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