Police, deputies seek lessons from NATO conference - FOX 13 News

Police, deputies seek lessons from NATO conference

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Demonstrators clashing with baton wielding police over the weekend in Chicago—it's a sight public safety officials don't want to see in Tampa during the Republican National Convention.

The violent confrontation left dozens injured just blocks away from the NATO summit.

Tampa Police Assistant. Chief John Bennett, along with members of the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office, are in Chicago to get a first-hand look at how police there are handling the massive demonstrations and what to prepare for come August.

And while the pictures are dramatic, Chief Bennett says the chaos was controlled to one city block.

"The march of course is quite long, but it was very peaceful, very well handled by the city as well as the demonstrators. And that's what we are looking for back home, is a well managed event, " Chief Bennett said from Chicago.

Over the weekend, three people, including two Florida men, were arrested for planning to use Molotov cocktails and other explosives during the NATO summit.

Chicago police say the men are self- proclaimed anarchists and members of a group called Black Bloc.

Police were able to foil the terrorist plot after undercover officers infiltrated the group.

Chief Bennett says to expect the same covert techniques in Tampa.

"Once you know you're going to have a political event like this, the process of knowing who trying to come to Tampa or already in Tampa that's trying to do the public harm, that's part of our responsibility. And we will be taking the same measures on our end," Chief Bennett said.

Back in Tampa, downtown restaurant owner Georgia Xanthoudakis isn't worried; she expects top notch security during the convention.

"The City of Tampa has spent so much money on security, we'll be fine. I'm not worried. I'm not worried," she said.

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