Reboot Charlotte: DNC Security
Charlotte, NC - Feeling safe on your streets is one of the best measures of a happy city. But if you live, work or play in Uptown Charlotte DNC Safety could mean inconvenient changes.
Security plans for Charlotte's DNC are already falling in place.
CMPD Deputy Chief Harold Medlock says, “A lot of different uniforms, a lot of patches and badges."
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are teaming with the Secret Service, the FBI, US Marshals and officers from across the state.
Plans are still preliminary, but Uptown will be on lockdown for at least a two block radius around Time Warner Cable Arena.
That includes the Epicentre, the Transit Center, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, and dozens of other businesses and organizations.
If you don't clear security you won't be walking or driving those streets.
The Transit Center will shut down a week before the convention and reopen only to transport delegates and other personnel.
Folks at the Epicentre's Mortimer's Cafe & Pub are already prepping.
Events Manager Maggie Gordon says, “It happened immediately. E-mails to property management. It's been crazy."
Gordon says the buzz started the moment the DNC was announced. Staff and management were warned to be more cognizant of security issues.
She says, “It's very overwhelming and the closer it gets the more daunting it is because we don't know what to expect."
When 35,000 political leaders, delegates and media members hit Charlotte the Epicentre will be right in the middle of the action. Hotel Sierra will be there too.
General Manager Don Lockhart says, “We're ecstatic."
The newly built luxury hotel sits adjacent to the arena. Lockhart says all 17 floors will be DNC dedicated.
He says traffic is already picking up as officials come in town to prep.
Business will only grow as the big event draws near and it won't be business as usual. Each employee will undergo a thorough background check in addition to the one performed by the hotel.
Lockhart says since it's still so early there are unanswered questions, “How we'll logistically be able to get deliveries to our hotel for that time period. How our employees are gonna get to and from work."
Less than a mile away the Midnight Diner is outside the perimeter, but already making plans too.
The restaurant runs 24/7 and when the DNC crowds come management will beef up security.
Shift leader Krystal Jenkins says, “You never know what's going on, what's gonna happen. It's just good to be safe."
Deputy Chief Medlock says that's what it's all about, keeping not just the politicians, delegates, and media safe, but his community too.
He smiles confidently and says, “We're up for the challenge."
And if all goes well the DNC can only be good for the QC.
Lockhart says, “It brings great publicity to Charlotte."
Jenkins agrees, “Excited, yes... Can't wait."
Gordon says, “It's like the stamp of approval."
Remember, these plans are just preliminary.
Deputy Chief Medlock says the department will do it's best not to impact the public.
He says security measures will be in flux until the event is over and the key to keeping the city safe is being prepared & flexible.