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Meetings to plan the security for the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver have already started:
Security will be tight during the 4 day event and run up a tab of about $35 million. Most of that will be paid for by the federal government. "It's going to be a security shot that probably the city of Denver has not seen the likes of," said Bob Pence, former director of the FBI's Rocky Mountain office.Closures of highways like Interstate 25 will not endear the Democrats to the locals, but looking at the geography, it's not clear I25 is really that close to the arena. We'll have to see how that plays out.
The money will not only be used to secure areas around the Pepsi Center and downtown Denver, but also to guard and protect the VIPs and politicians who will attend the convention.
Pence said SWAT teams, forensic experts and bomb sniffing dogs from around the country will come to Denver and do tactical practice sessions. They'll also clear anything that could be tempting to a terrorist like trash cans around the convention sites.
While convention organizers don't think Denver will see the same traffic problems that Boston did in 2004, Pence feels it is possible for major streets downtown, and even Interstate 25 to be closed to traffic at times during the convention. Thousands of officers will also be on patrol to keep protestors at a safe distant.
The Secret Service will be in charge of coordinating all of the security. The FBI and dozens of other federal, state and local agencies will also play key roles, including the Denver Police Department.