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Arizona officers join in G-20 security effort

  • Story Highlights
  • Police officers from around country join G-20 security effort in Pittsburgh
  • Departments involved include Miami, Florida, and Baltimore, Maryland
  • Cops from Tucson, Arizona, find chilly temps a change, but say "It's a lot of fun"
By Steve Brusk and Amy Sahba
CNN
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PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Lined up next to Pittsburgh police officers protecting a downtown office building Thursday morning were officers who traveled a little farther to get to work.

Police officers from Tucson, Arizona, left, talk with a Pittsburgh officer Thursday outside the G-20 summit.

Police officers from Tucson, Arizona, left, talk with a Pittsburgh officer Thursday outside the G-20 summit.

About 2,000 miles farther.

Thirty-six officers from the Tucson, Arizona, Police Department are in Pittsburgh as part of the G-20 security force. They were asked to assist by Pittsburgh officials as part of a Department of Homeland Security rapid response team.

Officers from departments in several cities, including Cleveland, Ohio; Miami Metro Dade, Florida; Baltimore, Maryland; and Chicago, Illinois, were sworn in as part of the massive security effort, but Tucson wins the prize for the greatest distance traveled. Video Watch how Pittsburgh has prepared for protests »

"There's a standardization in training," Tucson Lt. Paul Sayre said. Departments brought in to assist have undergone similar preparations in techniques and crowd control.

The Arizona officers were asked to come to Pittsburgh after taking part in the protection effort at the Republican National Convention in 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The downtown Pittsburgh street on a morning with temperatures in the 50s was nothing like a typical day for the officers. "It's a different environment," Sayre said -- but the job was the same. "We're excited to be here. It's a lot of fun."

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"Our role is to support Pittsburgh," said Capt. Perry Tarrant, commanding the Tucson team.

The additional help protecting downtown locations "gives Pittsburgh the flexibility to send its officers where needed," Sayre said.

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