Jeramey Jannene
City Hall

DNC Security Zone Includes Almost All of Westown

Expect travel delays, but zone is not hard perimeter says Secret Service, MPD.

By - Jan 17th, 2020 12:40 pm
Fiserv Forum. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Fiserv Forum. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

For a week in July much of the west side of downtown Milwaukee will be inside a security zone for the Democratic National Convention.

Starting the weekend of July 11th, a security zone will be established from W. Cherry St. to W. Clybourn St., N. 10th St. to N. Water St. The zone will encompass the convention’s primary venue, Fiserv Forum, as well as a host of auxiliary venues including the Wisconsin Center, UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and the Miller High Life Theatre.

The convention, expected to draw 50,000 visitors to the city, runs from Monday, July 13th through Thursday, July 16th. The federal government has designated the event a “National Special Security Event.”

The borders of the zone, according to Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) Chief Alfonso Morales and other officials, do not line up with a hard perimeter of security checkpoints. That information will be revealed at a later date.

“We all know the security for this convention has been a serious concern,” said Mayor Tom Barrett in announcing the zone. “This is not the entire unveiling of the security plan. This is the first step.” Morales and Barrett both said they expect the plan to change over time based on feedback and other needs.

“I am pleased to say that no businesses will be asked to close,” said Barrett. “We are a city and that means we will be in full operation at the same time as the convention.” City officials, MPD, the Secret Service and other stakeholders have been working on the perimeter since May 2019.

Robert Pasci, U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge, said the zone’s designation has been made as a collaboration. He praised the community for the support his agency has received. “We want to ensure our plan provides the maximum amount of security to the convention and a minimal amount of impact to the city,” said Pasci. He said the partners were looking at best practices from events like Summerfest, Bastille Days and other major events. “If there is any sort of inconvenience it will revolve around transit time,” said Pasci.

The zone will be guarded by approximately 4,000 police officers, 2,800 of which will come from out of town, including security checkpoints. The city applied for a $50 million federal grant to cover. The federal government has allocated $100 million to cover both the DNC and Republican National Convention scheduled for late August in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“On balance, I think it’s no contest that this is going to be great for the city,” said Barrett.

Stacie Callies, executive director of the Westown Association, said the convention was the opportunity of a lifetime for the neighborhood and its businesses. She said her organization would be ramping up its communication alongside the city to address specific issues.

Individuals with questions regarding the security zone are encouraged to email

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More about the DNC

Read more about DNC here

Categories: City Hall, Politics

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