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Private security in demand for RNC | News

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Private security in demand for RNC
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TAMPA, Florida -- While police agencies around the Tampa Bay area train for next month's Republican National Convention, many private security companies are gearing up as well.

But will there be enough in town to go around?

V.I.P.s, state legislators, and other dignitaries not covered by Secret Service have to look for alternatives.

The usual suspects -- local, off-duty police -- aren't available the week of the convention because they will all be working. That has hundreds of people and area businesses looking to private security.

"We have a whole database or students that have trained," said Lenny Bogdanos of International Executive Protection in Clearwater.

The company is spending weekends getting bodyguards ready for the convention.

Bogdanos says he doesn't know how many will be needed until he gets a call from contractors looking for help. "You have to be prepared for everything," he said. "We can easily put on another 10, 20, 30 students."

But London thought it was prepared for the Olympics, too. That was before a security contractor didn't provide enough trained guards, leaving officials scrambling to call up military in time for the start of the games.

Tampa police told 10 News on Tuesday they are "extremely confident" the same thing won't happen here.

"I think this is going to be a chance for the Tampa Bay area to shine. To show that not only law enforcement, but people in the private realm, are able to step up and handle it," said Tony Motley, who also trains bodyguards.

One complication for everyone involved with the convention is the fact that concealed weapons are allowed in the Event Zone. It means protestors and bodyguards can both be armed in the same place, as long as they have the proper permit.

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