PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia is on high alert Sunday morning, much like Cleveland was last week. The Democratic National Convention begins Monday.
Barricades are up around the city, particularly at the Wells Fargo Center where the convention is being held.
There are extra police on hand as the city prepares for 50-thousand convention participants. The city is also expecting a large contingent of protesters. One estimate puts that number between 35,000 and 50,000 a day based on demonstration permits filed with the city.
As far as preparations for the four-day event, the Philadelphia Police Department has worked with the Secret Service for months and had a team of department officials in Cleveland monitoring the security situation there during the Republican National Convention.
Philadelphia is a little more prepared than Cleveland. In addition to having a larger police department, the city hosted last year’s visit of Pope Francis.
That visit drew about a million people without any major security incidents.
Back in 2000, Philly hosted the RNC when George W. Bush ran for President.
Former Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey, who was the Deputy Superintendent in Chicago back in the '90s , expects the Philadelphia Police Department to perform well.
"You always have some concerns. But to be honest with you, I'll admit I'm biased, nobody handles large scale events better than the Philadelphia Police Department. So I'm not that concerned. I was concerned about the RNC simply because of the protests that we have had before, but I really do think the assassinations of the officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge may have brought the temperature down a bit," said Ramsey.
Democrats are also looking to squash any party disharmony before the start of the convention. Supporters of Secretary Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders reached a compromised Saturday to create a “unity commission” to come up with rules that would limit the role of superdelegates in the next election cycle. Those are the delegates who are not bound to vote according to primary results. That was a huge bone of contention in this nominating process, in which the Sanders camp felt it was unfair to him – giving the edge to Clinton, even though Sanders won a considerable number of primaries and caucuses.
The convention will be gaveled into order Monday at 4 p.m. The theme: united together. First Lady Michelle Obama will speak, along with Senator Bernie Sanders.