Milwaukee Health Department preparing for potential "public health emergencies" during DNC

NOW: Milwaukee Health Department preparing for potential “public health emergencies“ during DNC

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Health Department recently returned from a trip to Charlotte, where they learned how cities HAVE handled public health emergencies during the DNC in the past.

Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik says a public health emergency can be anything from weather, to an outbreak or terrorism.

“Collaborating with police, fire, emergency management and many of our other partners in the region," Kowalik said. "The federal partners have already reached out to us. We’ve been meeting.”

DNC CEO Joe Solmonese says he tries not to let the recent string of mass shootings narrow his focus on how to keep the area secure.

“You think about the sort of things that nobody else is thinking about, and whether that’s the sort of cyber-security challenges that we may encounter," Solmonese said. "Things that nobody’s thinking about now, or the sort of physical security issues we are thinking about.”

The Health Department is also working to prepare the city for weather or health emergencies.

The health inspection process for restaurants during the run-up to the DNC will be different than normal.

"The volume or the process of the inspections, that’s going to be something that’s coordinated with the federal agencies and the state, just to make sure that we’re all on the same page, and that everybody is being covered,” Kowalik said.

Solmonese says maybe the biggest key to security is making sure federal, state and city law enforcement are all on the same page.

"And we’ve got a little bit less than a year to do that, to ensure that we minimize the potential threat to people who are coming here from around the country," he said.

Secret Service is expected to lay out the security zone parameters for law enforcement in January.

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