If you had any doubt about what the Tampa police were expecting for the GOP convention next week, look no further than the local Hillsborough County jail. There, police have cleared out an entire jail in preparation for the influx of protesters they're expecting to arrest. In fact, the temporary facility has been outfitted with a command center, a court room, and even a medical facility.
Colonel Jim Previtera told WFTS-TV that the jail is preparing for up to 1,000 new arrests.
"We'll take their fingerprints and photographs. We'll also collect property," said Previtera. "There are three scenarios, inmates will either get bonded out, go before a judge who will be stationed at Falkenberg Road Jail with a video feed into Orient Road Jail, or they'll be released."
But that's not all. The facility is also outfitted with a number of other amenities:
Officials have created a temporary courtroom, an entire work area for the public defender's office and the clerk of court.
They also had to have complete medical resources. "We don't know what to expect. We couldn't call in 30 doctors and medical personnel at the last moment. So we are prepared with a staff that can handle the most serious cases," said Previtera.
In addition, there is a central command office. "We will also have access to the Tampa Police incident command centers that will help us with transportation, including what's going in the streets, " said Previtera.
"All 116 public defenders will be working 24-hour shifts inside the jail," Bay News 9 reports.
Some have balked at the idea and are even under the impression that police let other prisoners free in order to make room. However, that doesn't seem to be the case.
The facility will open for business, so to speak, on Sunday.