Colorado National Guard seeks central Denver base for DNC

Questions over militarization of security forces at the Democratic National Convention continue to be raised with the discovery that along with renting more than 500 rooms and commandeering a private campus on the outskirts of Denver, the Colorado National Guard is also looking to set up a 24-hour camp in a central region of the city during the convention.

The guard is seeking to rent a large hall area, including meeting rooms, parking and bathrooms, somewhere in “central Denver” on the dates Aug. 21 until Aug. 30 for 24 hours a day, according to Federal Business Opportunities, a government Web site that solicits contracts.

It is currently unknown exactly how much space is being requested or what the hall may be used for. All inquires were directed to Capt. Robert Bell, a public affairs officer for the guard who did not return requests for comment last week.

The Democratic National Convention takes place Aug. 25-28, and the guard has already confirmed that it is planning to to rent more than 500 rooms in the Denver area, turning a private university campus into a restricted military lodging area for business relating specifically to the event. Guard officials will not state what exactly they will be doing in the spaces.

Other military members with the U.S. Northern Command, a unit stationed at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs that was created in 2002 for homeland defense missions, will be assisting the U. S. Secret Service with convention security.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at