Officials providing security for the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee this July have released a preliminary security footprint for the downtown area.
The footprint extends from Cherry Street on the north, to Clybourn Street on the south, and from 10th Street on the west, to Water Street on the east.
Law enforcement says "enhanced security measures" within the footprint will not be in place until the weekend before the convention, which runs from July 13-16 at the Fiserv Forum and other downtown venues.
Officials emphasize that no businesses will be made to close, and all residents will be able to access their homes and parking structures.
Robert Pasci is U.S. Secret Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge, and security coordinator for the convention. At a Friday news conference, Pasci described some of the criteria for the boundaries of the preliminary footprint:
"Essentially, what we needed to do was identify the venues that would host a lot of the convention events — caucusing events to the actual nominating convention. Once we determined the venues, we then began work with the Milwaukee Police Department and Milwaukee County Transit, using best practices."
Pasci says those best practices are based on what has worked well in the past for other large events in the city, like Summerfest, Bastille Days, and Milwaukee Bucks games.
He says there may be some inconvenience involving transit times for those moving in and around the city. But Pasci says the security plan "allows us to be able to bring more than 7,000 delegates into the venues, to insure the safety and integrity of more than 25,000 members of the press."
Stacie Callies, executive director of the Westown Association, represents the downtown neighborhood just west of the Milwaukee River. She says that a subcommittee, including representatives of the private sector, has been working closely with law enforcement on a communication process "that we believe will be effective and transparent, that will help us ensure important downtown stakeholder questions are adequately addressed.''
The Milwaukee Police Department says Friday's announcement is just the first step to a complex security plan: "Additional layers of specificity, including details about the hard security perimeter, will be announced closer to the convention," according to the department.
Residents and businesses in and around the preliminary security footprint may contact the police department with security related questions at DNCMPD@Milwaukee.gov.
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