CMPD chief heads to Tampa ahead of DNC

by: Blair Miller Updated:

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TAMPA, Fla. - One week before the start of the DNC, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe went to Tampa.

He said he wanted to get a true taste of what's to come next week -- the good and the bad.

As demonstrators met in a downtown Tampa park Monday morning, Monroe looked on with Tampa's police chief to see their plan in action.

Organizers expected thousands, but instead, just hundreds showed up and marched through the city.

“When you see something like this, what are you learning?” Eyewitness News anchor Blair Miller asked.  

“You know, I'm paying attention to different things -- not so much the activity that's going on over there -- but how the officers deploy and how they actually move and march along,” Monroe said.

And Charlotte can expect the same kind of demonstrations.

One group protesting big corporations and politicians is planning to leave Tampa once the RNC is over and travel to Charlotte.

The police presence is hard to miss in Tampa, and the same tall fences that line those streets will be in Charlotte next week to protect the buildings.

Tampa police said the protests have been mostly peaceful, with few problems on the streets Monday and Sunday, and just one arrest so far.

Monroe hopes the lessons learned there on Monday help Charlotte next week.

“Whether it's the traffic or the protesters, do you think Charlotte is ready for this?” Miller asked.

“We are,” Monroe said. “You know, people are saying what are we waiting to do right now, and what we're waiting is for it to start.”