Cleveland found welcoming, safe

Photo provided: The band Rascal Flatts performs Monday night at  the Buckeye Bash at Cleveland Public Auditorium.
Staff Writer

One local city councilman shared his thoughts on spending a day in Cleveland among the events of the Republican National Convention.

Although he was not a delegate, Dan Graf of Wapakoneta attended the Buckeye Bash on Monday night as a member of the Auglaize County Republican Central Committee. The Bash was a fundraiser sponsored by the Cleveland Clinic to help fight cancer. Held at the Cleveland Public Auditorium, the event was invitation only.

Graf traveled to downtown Cleveland along with his wife, Marlene, who is a native of the city. He said navigating downtown went smoothly and the city seemed very well prepared to host the convention. Given the recent slew of attacks and security threats across the country, Graf noted that security seemed especially present and well executed.

“Cleveland was very much prepared for the convention, with patrolling the crowd, access to different buildings, different roads — lots of police presence,” Graf said. “We felt very safe.”

Police were posted in groups of four, six and eight, he said, and officers mounted on horseback and bicycles were among the different kinds of units. Graf noticed that police were present from Missouri, Wisconsin, Utah, Texas and Georgia, and there was much positive interaction between the crowds and law enforcement there.

See Wednesday's paper for the full story.