With 240 days until the Democratic National Convention is in Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) is preparing for the event. MPD shared its plans for security during the convention with the Common Council’s Public Safety and Health Committee on Thursday.
MPD Chief of Staff Nick DeSiato says the department will be able to adequately staff districts during the DNC. What does “adequate” entail? DeSiato says that out of MPD's 1,800 officers, 1,200 will be covering the convention. Still, he says, they will have enough coverage to ensure that districts in Milwaukee are monitored.
"Generally speaking, the other districts will largely be at minimum staffing levels because we'll be stretched thin," DeSiato said.
In other words, DeSiato says they'll have no problem responding to calls.
But that didn't stop the questions. Council members wanted to know how 600 police officers not assigned to the convention could cover seven districts.
DeSiato explains MPD will be partnering with around 150 law agencies outside of Milwaukee. Those officers will primarily fulfill security while MPD handles arrests.
"We've had a really impressive response, both in state and from out of state, because we've certainly participated in other events outside of Wisconsin, we have those relationships," DeSiato assured.
Alderwoman Chantia Lewis asked the officers to consider training for the outside forces as they might not be familiar with Milwaukee policing models.
"Even though they may have a security function, there are still some things that I would say that need to be put in place ... That they are taking some diversity inclusion and trauma-informed care and know how to identify those type of things. That would be very important to me."
Federal grants will cover the needed $50 million for security during the Democratic National Convention.