by: Dan Tordjman Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The head of Charlotte-Mecklenburg police took some time to reflect Monday on the work of his officers, and several thousand officers from other cities, during the Democratic National Convention.
"Based on how things could've gone," said Chief Rodney Monroe, "I feel ecstatic."
During a week filled with protests from anarchists, immigrant rights activists and Occupy members from all over the country, there were 25 arrests but no reported violence.
"We weren't going to allow anyone to tear this city up, nor were we going to allow people to do harm to our officers," Monroe said.
To ensure the security of the city and the safety of officers, CMPD got a $50 million Homeland Security grant. At least half of the money was spent directly on police staffing, system upgrades and equipment.
Police were visible on new bicycles and motorcycles, which were used as much for transportation as they were lined up to create security barriers against protesters.
Eyewitness News asked Monroe what would be done with all of the extra bikes and other equipment purchased specifically for the DNC.
"It's nothing that's going to sit on the shelf," Monroe said.
The chief said that many bikes would be kept by CMPD and used daily by officers. Some of the bikes would be going back with officers who came in from other cities to help.
Officers from other cities also got to take home some of the field force equipment, like riot gear and body armor, that their agencies might not have.
"Those officers that come down here to support us will be able to take that back to support their own departments, in their own cities," Monroe said.
Monroe also addressed whether the equipment purchases were overkill, in light of the fact that there were no incidents of anything worse than civil disobedience.
"No. I think you always have to look to prepare for the worst and hope for the best," Monroe said.
He also indicated that the passage of ordinances earlier this year, which gave police broader power to search people and seize personal property, was more of a tactic to convey a certain image to potential troublemakers.
"We wanted people to know that we were serious about certain parameters," Monroe said. "But at the same time we were going to show people that we were going to try to be accommodating."
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