Milwaukee Fire Department actively in planning stages for 2024 RNC

While more concrete decisions are expected to be made later this fall, initial plans are well underway.
Posted at 12:29 PM, Sep 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-01 13:45:21-04

MILWAUKEE — With less than 11 months until the 2024 Republican National Convention (RNC), planning for most, if not all, local law enforcement agencies, like the Milwaukee Fire Department, is well underway.

“Just with the idea that we were pursuing the RNC or the idea that we may have it awarded to us, we had to start to put together some plans earlier this calendar year,” said Assistant Chief of Operations for the Milwaukee Fire Department Schuyler Belott.

Belott says budgets needed to be created that addressed what the department thought might be needed in order to effectively provide protection to the city but says that brought its own challenges.

“It's kind of difficult to come up with a plan for something you don't know exactly what it's going to be like. We did go through the DNC just four years ago, so it gave us a little bit of a baseline and experience in learning from that and ensuring that we were trying to prepare ahead of time,” said Asst. Chief Belott.

That experience pushed the MFD to create an RNC division within its ranks that leads the planning process.

One of those in charge is Battalion Chief Darin Peterburs, who focuses on making sure the MFD’s needs during these stages are heard.

“We can discuss needs, resources, express our concerns for the city, to be able to keep the rest of the city safe while also providing all these resources to the actual RNC,” said Peterburs.

Right now, Peterburs says their division is speaking with the Executive Steering Committees for the city as well as the actual RNC to understand what is needed and what is possible.

He says there should be more concrete decisions made later this fall, but one thing is clear.

“The world is just in a different place than it was in 2020. So, we have to take all of the changes into account and plan for the Milwaukee RNC 2024, not the previous conventions, but we do have a lot of information to go off of that will help us get to that plan,” said Peterburs.