Milwaukee residents attend RNC community listening session, many leave with questions remaining

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Posted at 10:16 AM, Apr 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-12 11:16:09-04

MILWAUKEE — Ahead of the Republican National Convention, people who live in downtown Milwaukee learned new details Thursday night about security, but some questions remain.

At a community listening session at the Baird Center, with city leaders and representatives from the United States Secret Service attendees learned that residential locations would not be subject to the most restrictive security measures.

The area in and around the RNC will be divided into two security two layers. The outer region, where people live, will require a comprehensive vehicle checkpoint but anyone can come and go.

The inner area will be fenced off, only open to those attending the RNC, a business in the area, or working the event, and will require credentials or tickets.

Officials have not shared the exact perimeters between the outer and inner layers but the general impact ranges from N. 9th St from the west, to N. Water St on the east. It is bounded to the north by W. Cherry St. and W. Clybourn St. to the south.

Attendees also asked about public safety, traffic, parking, and public transportation.

“We just want to make sure we understand, what’s going on during the convention before and after,” Dan Lococo said, “How we need to engage with the convention itself and how it will impact our day-to-day activity.”

Dan Lococo
Dan Lococo, lives downtown.

With roughly 50 thousand people coming into the city for a political event, Lococo, who lives in the area, also shared concerns about protests or informational groups occupying his neighborhood.

Bethany Clarke with the Downtown Neighborhood Association told reporter Tahleel Mohieldin that many of their members are also concerned about safety measures.

Bethany Clarke
Bethany Clarke, Board member, Downtown Neighborhood Association

MPD officials said they plan to have a robust presence downtown, outside the convention area to include foot officers and Bike Patrol.

Convention leaders said the community will have more detailed information related to other impacts in mid-June.