HARTFORD - Crowds gathered late Friday afternoon ahead of an evening campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Hartford.

Some of the people say they've attended Trump rallies before, like Patty Clark, of Milford.

"I'm a Trumpster," she told News 12. "That's what I am."

Others, like a pair of vendors selling pro-Trump merchandise, say they're actually Hillary Clinton supporters. A crowd of anti-Trump protesters also showed up.

Trump appeared at the Connecticut Convention Center at 7 p.m., and officials implemented tight security measures ahead of the event.

Hartford police say they stationed 80 extra duty officers outside before protesters gathered in front of the center.

They also placed cameras around the area, and they say they are hoping to keep skirmishes to a minimum. At a Trump rally in Pittsburgh earlier in the week, crowds attacked police, officials say.

"The police department is not here to be a referee, and we're not here to instigate," says Deputy Chief Brian Foley. "We just want things to be peaceful."

For the most part, they were, officials say. But police did escort several protesters out of the event for allegedly causing disruptions.

Trump says the protesters were hired to questioned whether they even knew why they were protesting.

Supporters vastly outnumbered protesters at the venue.

Some say they like Trump's idea for protecting the country's border. Others say they like him because he's not a career politician.

Trump's visit Friday came one week after rival GOP candidate John Kasich made a campaign stop in Fairfield. The Connecticut primary is on Tuesday, April 26.