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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police department returned from Chicago Monday after spending the weekend assisting police at the NATO summit.
While President Obama met with world leaders, some of the protesters became disruptive.
CMPD Deputy Chief Harold Medlock was there.
"We really were observers and on the sidelines you get a little different perspective," said Medlock.
Medlock traveled to Chicago with Police Chief Rodney Monroe and 100 other officers for a glimpse of what to expect in Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention.
Police say most of the protests were peaceful, but some protesters came armed.
"I was a half a block away, saw two by fours, sticks, rocks, bricks, cinder blocks," said Medlock.
In Chicago, it took about 12,000 officers to control the crowd of about 5,000 people.
President Obama praised police for carefully maintaining public safety while balancing the rights of protesters.
Charlotte police plan to follow Chicago's lead.
"We took away some great ideas on how to manage some of the unruly crowds, and they did it in a way that was very minimal in confrontation," said Medlock.
Plans are in the works to stay one step ahead of the crowds.
Additional police agencies from surrounding counties will help work the DNC.
City officials also passed the new extraordinary events ordinance giving police more power to search people and seize potential weapons, but police say the biggest challenge will be preparing for the unexpected.
"I think we all walked away with a better idea of what we can expect to see," said Medlock.