- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A bipartisan state board has approved an extra $4 million for the State Highway Patrol for the coming months as troopers help with security for next week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland and with visits by presidential candidates before the election.

The Controlling Board approved that spending increase for a fund that covers security and investigations, and the panel also OK’d transferring $3.1 million of that from an emergency fund, said Lt. Robert Sellers, the patrol’s spokesman.

Work covered by the fund includes criminal investigations as well as certain unscheduled services, such as prison escape searches and support for local law enforcement when extra security is needed or there is civil unrest, said Lt. Robert Sellers, the patrol’s spokesman.

In such instances, “it is important to have an adequate appropriation available to ensure the safety and security of our communities,” Sellers said in an email.

The patrol won’t disclose the extent of its staffing or assistance for the Cleveland convention that begins July 18. Cleveland has received a $50 million federal security grant, and the patrol anticipates being reimbursed for the as-yet-undetermined cost of its help, Sellers said.

In the meantime, the funding approval from the state panel helps ensure that the patrol’s financial operations run smoothly, he said.

Further along on the political calendar, swing-state Ohio is likely to get plenty more visits by the presidential candidates in the months leading up to the November election, and the patrol typically helps with security for those. The agency anticipates helping again with security for the presidential inauguration in Washington, too, Sellers said.

Aside from the political events, troopers also have security duties for the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, which runs July 27-Aug. 7.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that the approved spending increase was about $4 million and the approved transfer from an emergency fund was part of that.

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