CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When the Secret Service rolls into Charlotte to secure it for the DNC they will be bringing along some heavy duty barriers - some will be the kind that can withstand the impact of a 15,000-pound vehicle at 50 miles per hour.
We're talking five miles of nine-foot steel fence (stretched out, that would cover uptown to Hidden Valley), two miles of concrete barriers (enough to line streets from uptown to Plaza Midwood), and eight miles of metal barriers (which could stretch from the center of the city to UNCC).
The Secret Service also confirmed for us that it will secure four sites. The arena, the stadium, the convention center and an empty warehouse all the way out by the airport. Secret Service won't say what's up with the warehouse, but Ross Bulla has an idea.
"With certainty, I can tell you that's the MAC. Multi-Agency Coordination Center," he says.
Bulla is president of The Treadstone Group, a local security firm, and he specializes in events like the DNC. He says the warehouse will be the primary command center for officials, placed far from uptown. "The one reason that it is so far out is if there is a catastrophic event it doesn't take out the MAC," he says.
We also showed Bulla a heavily redacted report CMPD gave us listing some of its security expenditures, and he filled in the blanks with his professional opinion, identifying "turtle suits," he says. "The mask, the shield, the double-sided padded protection equipment that makes officers look like turtles."
Bulla says the expense for outfitting will be high, because CMPD will need more uniforms than they have officers. "One of the standard practices of an anarchist group is to throw urine and feces at law enforcement officers," he explains. And what Charlotte's already done is they've purchased and will have standing by complete uniforms so if an officer is exposed that entire uniform is discarded, thrown away. They'll reuniform that officer and send him right back out."
Another curiosity on the paperwork police gave us - expenses for lodging listed twice.
"We have the lodging for hotels and then we have general lodging," Bulla says. "That tells me that this probably a reimbursement to Johnson C. Smith and CPCC for allowing officers to dine and stay overnight there."