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26 Tucson cops to work at GOP convention

TPD’s classification emphasizes crowd management

Tucson police are getting into the upcoming election excitement by attending next week’s Republican National Convention in Minnesota, according to a news release from the department.

The Tucson Police Department will send 26 of its more than 1,000 sworn members – 21 officers, three supervisors and two lieutenants – in response to an invitation from the St. Paul Police Department, Capt. Clayton Kidd said.

He said the main task will be crowd management, and Tucson police were invited because of the department’s classification as a Rapid Response Team.

Rapid Response Teams are public service task forces that respond to significant events that are too big for one jurisdiction to handle, the release said, such as a national political convention.

Members of Tucson’s team who wanted to go were given first dibs, provided not all were taken from the same squad.

The city of St. Paul is footing the bill with a $50 million federal grant supplement it was awarded to help pay for the event’s security, the release said.

Tucson has had events with crowds in the thousands along Fourth Avenue and at the Tucson Convention Center, Kidd said, but the city has not seen anything like the throngs expected to cram the convention Monday through Thursday.

“We are proud to send our members,” Kidd said. “They can bring information back from the experience to help us in the future.”

St. Paul also contacted several other police departments across the nation for assistance.

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