Police officers from every corner of the U.S. are in Charlotte, NC this week. Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, as well as dozens of smaller departments are stationed in the many venues hosting the bulk of the DNC activities beginning today.
A large contingency of bicycle patrol officers, including ours, are riding the streets in this hot and humid weather. Their biggest problem is combating heat exhaustion and chafing from miles of riding.
Sunday brought the first activity, a parade of people protesting just about everything there is to protest. They gathered in a local park for a rally and then marched in the 90-plus degree and high humidity conditions into the city and then back around to the park.
The cops were there as well and I was surprised to see how well everything went. There were plenty of characaters including Vermin Supreme, a career protester who wore a boot on his head and is running for president on the Pony and Teeth Platform.
I spoke with him for a few minutes. I was curious about the rubber boot on his head and he about my long pants and uniform during such hot conditions. We spoke for a few minutes and then he disappeared into the crowd. You should Google him--really.
Of the many protesters I talked to, all were nice. They are here for the cause and wanted to be heard, which they were, and did their thing.
Captain Keith Zgonc and myself are stationed at the CMPD HQ in the public affairs office. There are a good bunch of people with the CMPD hosting us.
So far, I'm impressed with the way the police organization has functioned so seamlessly, given that there are so many different departments on site. There are litereally thousands of cops in the city right now. There have been very few problems and very few arrests. The tolerance level of the cops is paying off. One group staged an impromptu sit-down in front of a city building and prepared to be hauled off. The police stood and watched them. Nothing more. They left after ten minutes.
Our guys, who are riding the streets on bikes, seem to have it the toughest. The heat has been unbearable for them but they do get an occasional break courtesy of a thunderstorm passing through the city. Me? I'm just tired of turkey sandwiches. I guess I shouldn't complain.