Jeramey Jannene

City Seeks 55,000 Beef Jerky Sticks, 250,000 Water Bottles, Kevlar Helmets For RNC

Plus: Police will lease facility in Greendale for staging.

By - May 3rd, 2024 05:09 pm
Milwaukee Police Department officers block a freeway on-ramp from protesters. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee Police Department officers block a freeway on-ramp from protesters in 2020. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The City of Milwaukee appears to be leaving no box unchecked in its efforts to acquire supplies for the 2024 Republican National Convention.

Open requests for proposals (RFPs) seek everything from Microsoft Office licenses to a 53-foot semi-trailer and 2,000 20-pound bags of ice to fill it.

The snack RFPs hit this week, with the goods slated for the approximately 4,500 police officers that will guard the convention. On the request list are asks for 55,000 individually-wrapped beef sticks, 52,500 1-to-1.75-ounce bags of salted and dry roasted peanuts, 52,500 1.5-to-2-ounce bags of trail mix, 52,500 granola bars in high-count packages and 55,000 0.8-ounce bags of fruit snacks. The city is also seeking daily deliveries of “ripe for consumption” fresh fruit, 3,400 apples (Gala, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious or Fiji) and an equal number of bananas.

Thirst is also covered. RFPs are open for 250,000 16.9-ounce water bottles (in cases of 40) and 65,016 12-ounce bottles of Gatorade or Powerade.

Deliveries are to be made to 5400 S. 60th St. in Greendale. That’s the police staging site for the July convention. It’s a 14-acre property most recently occupied by Goodwill Industries of Southeast Wisconsin. It was previously the headquarters of Reiman Publications, and was reacquired in 2022 by a limited liability company connected to the family.

A Glendale facility owned by real estate investor Brian Monroe will not be used after early indications suggested it would be. Seven bidders applied to host the staging site, deliberately targeted for a site outside the Westown security perimeter. The 2020 convention relied on a former We Energies facility on S. 35th Street in Milwaukee, but that building is unavailable. In 2021, it was demolished for a stormwater management project.

A $75 million grant, recently increased by Congress from the $50 million approved in 2020, will be awarded to both Milwaukee and Chicago to secure the political conventions. Much of the grant will ultimately go toward staff time, both for city employees and outside officers. But it could also cover some items that the city is able to use well beyond the convention. The city is able to keep appropriately-purchased equipment. That includes a mobile command post (a high-tech RV) that will replace a 15-year-old vehicle. As indicated was likely during a January Common Council debate, LDV, Inc. was awarded the contract for $1.32 million after being the only bidder.

Open RFPs also cover several traditional safety equipment measures for the Milwaukee Police Department: safety vests, tactical mask communication systems, portable lights, kevlar helmets, emergency medical service supplies and a lease of a work van. Also included are battery-powered rescue saws, of which the city is seeking three. The Milwaukee Fire Department is also seeking 25 licenses for the 2019 version of Microsoft Office and an equivalent number of tablet computers.

The city is entering its second year of procuring equipment for the convention. Last year, it opened bids for housing, vehicles and numerous pieces of fire-fighting equipment. It’s also sought transportation providers, an underwater, tethered drone and 60 bikes.

Unlike the 2020 Democratic National Convention process, the city has yet to issue an RFP for a “tactical gas delivery system” or “pepper spray canisters.” But it did procure two hydraulic door breaching tools, air purifying respirators, an open-source intelligence tool, laptops, golf carts, gas masks, handheld shields and elbow protectors.

Far more than city contracts will be awarded for the convention. The local host committee, 170 Freedom Milwaukee 2024 Host Committee, Inc., and the Republican National Committee are also expected to award millions of dollars in contracts. The host committee launched a public vendor portal in April 2023.

Members of the public or interested bidders can follow the city’s bidding opportunities on the Purchasing Division website. Awarded contracts are also posted on the city website.

The 2024 Republican National Convention will be held in Milwaukee from July 15-18.

Out-of-town officers would be housed at area colleges based on RFP responses. The city’s website says a contract has yet to be formally awarded, but two different RFPs drew responses from Concordia University Wisconsin Lutheran College, UW-Whitewater, UW-Green Bay, UW-Parkside, UW-Madison, Mount Mary UniversityCarroll University and the Wisconsin State Fair Park.

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3 thoughts on “City Seeks 55,000 Beef Jerky Sticks, 250,000 Water Bottles, Kevlar Helmets For RNC”

  1. JE Brown says:

    Red Delicious apples? Take them off the list. They are terrible.

  2. says:

    I can think of nothing more terrifying than hundreds of cops in riot gear with their stun guns, tear gas, tactical masks and helmets–exactly what happens when you have too many GOP members in your town. You are putting your life in danger if you leave home during this dangerous convention. –at least they have their fruit to keep them going while they’re attacking our community members.

  3. Marty Ellenbecker says:

    Thank you JE Brown, for noting this!
    Pretty sneaky hiding a request for throwing apples, among eating apples.
    I think they’re up to no good. 🙂

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