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‘Prepared for any possibility:’ Security team meets in Milwaukee for 2020 DNC planning

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MILWAUKEE -- For the first time, FOX6 News on Wednesday, Aug. 21 got a look inside closed-door security meetings, with officials planning for the 2020 Democratic National Convention, set for July 13-16, 2020. The meetings included a "who's who" of law enforcement -- from the FBI, to Milwaukee police, to sheriff's deputies, to FEMA officials.

The security team started meeting in May, and on Wednesday, the group was still in the planning stages on many critical issues, like establishing a security perimeter around the convention.

"We're going to be prepared for any possibility or any eventuality," said Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas.

Sheriff Lucas said his deputies are ready for overtime, security threats, and other safety issues the convention could bring.

Earnell Lucas

"We are going to walk away on July 17 with so much pride that we were able to pull off a major event like a major national convention," said Sheriff Lucas.

While few -- if any -- specific security details were discussed publicly, leaders with the FBI, the United States Secret Service, FEMA and other agencies said they had been scouting the city, researching every nook and cranny. In terms of the financial cost, organizers said that's covered.

Robert Pacsi

"There is a funding mechanism in place for reimbursement for our public safety partners across the state, local, county," said Robert Pacsi, assistant special agent in charge for the Secret Service.

Leaders did not release the size and scope of a downtown security perimeter, but businesses and homes near Fiserv Forum will undoubtedly be impacted, with 2,500 events taking place throughout the city during the four-day event.

"You will see a police presence," said Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales.


Chief Morales said it's an all-hands-on-deck mentality within his department. He said the relationships being built on Wednesday would ensure a safe event.

"We are going to be running business as usual," said Chief Morales. "We will have enough police to secure this city, as we do on a daily basis."

Fifty-thousand people are expected to attend the Democratic National Convention, which is expected to have a $200 million impact on the region.

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