Boats armed with machine guns to patrol RNC

Republican convention starts Aug. 27 in Tampa


TAMPA, Fla. - Law enforcement agencies are planning to boost their patrols of Tampa's waterways during the Republican National Convention.

The RNC will be held later this month on the city's waterfront. Federal and local law enforcement agencies say they'll saturate the waterway with armed boat patrols.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says machine guns and infrared technology that can pick up body heat are among the new tools being mounted onto boats for the patrols.

U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Judy Silverstein says the marine units are prepared for "everything that could possibly happen."

Tampa Police Cpl. James Reiser says anyone swimming or paddling in security zones will be detained and probably arrested.

Recreational boaters should expect security checkpoints and channel closures throughout the Aug. 27-30 convention.

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