MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee police force is about to double. The increased staffing is temporary for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
The cliché is, there is safety in numbers. In Milwaukee, that number will be 4,000. 4,000 officers are needed to safely patrol the four-day convention next July.
The U.S. Department of Justice is picking up the tab -- giving the city a $50 million grant to cover equipment, training and officers. It is up to the Milwaukee Police Department to recruit the visiting staff.
"We've had a really impressive turnout from both in state and out of state," said Nick DeSiato, Milwaukee Police Chief of Staff.
1,200 Milwaukee officers will be assigned to the event. They will be joined by officers from 106 Wisconsin law enforcement agencies -- as well as officers from 40 out-of-state departments -- some of them coming from as far away as Florida and California.
The visiting officers will only work the event -- and will follow the orders of Police Chief Alfonso Morales. The rest of the Milwaukee police force will work a regular shift, responding to calls in their assigned districts.
"We are the Milwaukee Police Department. We have to protect Milwaukee," DeSiato said.
The MPD Chief of Staff wanted to point out the cost of the convention security does not fall on taxpayers. However, residents will benefit. MPD will get to keep any equipment it buys with the federal grant money -- and its officers will also benefit from the special training.