Duval County, Florida, Sheriff Mike Williams said Monday that law enforcement does not have what they need right now to properly secure events in Jacksonville for the Republican National Convention next month.
“All I know is where we are today, and where we are today is we can’t support this plan. We don’t have what we need to pull the RNC off at this point in its current configuration,” Sheriff Williams told reporters.
He said he’s spoken with Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry about the issue.
“He understands my position,” Sheriff Williams said. “This is not a surprise to the mayor — we’ve had this conversation.”
Republicans last week announced plans for a scaled-back convention, scheduled for Aug. 24-27, that will include a mix of indoor and outdoor events in Jacksonville.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said that only delegates will be admitted to the convention venue for the first three days, which translates to about 2,500 people.
Each delegate, their guest and alternates will be allowed to attend President Trump’s formal acceptance of the GOP nomination, which translates to roughly 7,000 people.
Planning major party conventions is a years-long undertaking, in large part due to the level of security that is required for such an event, which in this case involves an incumbent president.
The RNC was originally to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, but Republicans announced last month they were moving much of the event to Jacksonville after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, would not guarantee full use of a packed arena amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The party is still planning to conduct some business in Charlotte.