Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the beefy security was integral in keeping the peace, though he is aware that downtown Tampa looked like an occupied city this week.
"Given a choice of the image of a city that is safe, a city that is prepared or the image of a city where anarchists run amok," he said, "I'll take the safe city image."
By this Friday morning, the mayor said, the tearing down of the barricades, tents and fencing will have begun, and most if not all of the on-loan police officers from other jurisdictions will be heading home, the first step back to normalcy.
That's a relief for downtown businesses.
After hawking cigars from the same spot for 30 years, A.J. Mauser, owner of A.J.'s Cigars to Go, was forced to move his mobile cigar shop because of the barricades set up last week.
Whatever loss of business he experienced, though, was offset by his new customers.
"I didn't have my regulars per se that are the office workers and attorneys and bankers," he said Thursday. "However, surprisingly, the out-of town law enforcement people who came in are big cigar smokers."
"I've got no complaints," Mauser said. "I'm just glad we haven't had any anarchists or anything like that."
Tribune reporters Kevin Wiatrowski and Josh Poltilove contributed to this report.