Special Security Gear Headed to Denver

    When the Democratic National Committee Convention opens Aug. 25, Denver will be prepared for about any type of disaster. On order already is $5 million worth of special safety equipment.In December, President Bush signed a federal spending bill that gave Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul $50 million each for convention security. The funds are processed through the U.S. Department of Justice with the Secret Service in charge of the overall security for both conventions, coordinating their plans with the FBI and other federal, state and local agencies. For the Democratic Convention in Denver, the Denver Police Department and the DNC security team will also play key roles.

    At the Denver City Council safety meeting on Wednesday, city officials announced that the Justice Department had approved expenditures for a heavy rescue unit, a hazardous materials vehicle, an urban search-and-rescue unit for the fire department and a unified command center administered by the police department. Denver will be allowed to keep the equipment after the convention is over.

    Although both Boston and New York City had to wait to be reimbursed for their security costs for the 2004 Democratic and Republican conventions, which put a strain on city budgets, the Justice Department will allow Denver and Minneapolis to draw immediately from their allotted $50 million security grants to cover convention expenses.