In preparation for this year's Democratic National Convention, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are planning to increase the number of jail staff by nearly a third and as much as double the number of on-duty magistrates. These precautions come in expectation of a surge in arrests during the convention.
Up to 10,000 protesters are expected to be active in Charlotte, according to authorities. Protesters have planned a march on September 2 which could be the biggest in the history of the city.
Because of work being dong at the arrest center uptown, anyone arrested during the DNC will be taken to the center at Spector Drive in North Charlotte. The uptown center is predicted to be operational early next year.
Although the Mecklenburg County Courthouse will be open during the DNC, it will not be holding criminal trials. Mecklenburg's four civil magistrates will aid the 28 criminal magistrates at the Spector Drive arrest processing location.
During the week of the convention, both police officers and magistrates will not be able to take days off. Because police will be focusing on personal injury and damage to property, they are expected to have a "high tolerance" for arrests and may issue citations instead of arrests for many cases. This is so police can remain at their post rather than spending the time to arrest and process a suspect, which normally takes around two hours.
If needed, a spokesman for CMPD says there is more than adequate space to jail those who are arrested.