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Questions remain over DNC security size, resources

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) – The Democratic National Convention was originally expected to bring some 50,000 people to Milwaukee but that number is more likely to be in the low hundreds. However, the high-profile event may still require a heavy security presence.

“I’m not sure the amount of protesting will diminish one iota,” Ald. Robert Bauman said in a Public Works Committee Friday. The committee passed an ordinance to prohibit certain items from the security zone around the DNC. The list includes things like lumber and fireworks. The list is intended to keep people and law enforcement safe from potentially violent actors near the event.

But some alders expressed concern over the size of the security being considered for the event, since it has been scaled back significantly.

“The public is wondering why we’re bulking up so much considering this has become a virtual event,” said Ald. JoCasta Zamarripa.

Bauman, who chairs the committee, maintained that political conventions historically attract protests and the size of the event may not matter.

“The convention attendees are down to like 300 people at this point but as long as there’s a physical event, you could have 10,000 protesters,” Bauman said.

Meanwhile, law enforcement groups have their own concerns.

A source shared a letter to CBS 58 that was dated July 6 and sent by the Wisconsin Police Executive Group to Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales.

In the letter, the group presses Chief Morales on concerns about a potential lack of equipment for law enforcement agencies from outside Milwaukee that are set to assist the department during the DNC.

“WiPEG Chiefs are concerned that your Department will not have adequate equipment to safeguard officers and citizens,” the letter said.

CBS 58 reached out to WiPEG Chair and Fond du Lac Police Chief William Lamb for comment on if those concerns have been addressed since the letter was sent but did not immediately hear back.

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