National political conventions to be secured by law enforcement agencies

As the U.S. Secret Service prepares for the upcoming party conventions of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, the scent of burning rubber fills the air during their crucial training exercises. This unmistakable smell is a key component of their rigorous preparation for ensuring the safety and security of both current and former presidents.

Preparing for any potential threat, agents are able to navigate tight turns, stop on a dime, and travel at speeds of up to 90 miles an hour.

To prepare for any potential worst-case scenario, the Secret Service has created a life-size town where agents can train for an attack on a motorcade. This includes a simulation of a real assault on a protectee, where would-be attackers use blank rounds from the cover of buildings on both sides of the street. In response, a counter-assault team jumps out of black SUVs to return fire and contain the situation.

Shaun Miltier, Assistant to the Special Agent in Charge at Secret Service, emphasized the need to prepare and train for a range of potential threats, from a lone wolf gunman to a state-sponsored terrorist attack.

Our goal is to ensure that lethal force is readily available when needed.

Agent Kyle Kuhn from the Special Operations Division explained that they utilize speed, surprise, and violence of action to divert, suppress, and neutralize any potential threats.

The Republican convention is scheduled to take place from July 15-18 in Milwaukee, while the Democrats have planned theirs to be held in Chicago from Aug. 19-22.

As the Republican convention looms just a week away, the Secret Service, alongside a multitude of federal, state, and local agencies, are tirelessly working to ensure preparedness for any potential threats in a country that remains deeply polarized.

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More than a year of preparation has gone into the security package in Milwaukee for the Republican National Convention. To get an inside look at the coordination process, ABC News was given access to the joint command center that will serve as the hub for real-time communication during the convention.

According to Audrey Gibson-Cicchino, the Secret Service Coordinator, they have collaborated with numerous partner organizations across all levels of the government and are constantly keeping track of any information related to the event. She further added that they are well-equipped and have devised a plan to handle any situation that may arise during the event.

In order to ensure the safety and security of the convention, federal and local law enforcement agencies have joined forces to provide comprehensive coverage from air, land, and sea. The skies will be patrolled by helicopters and airplanes, while Secret Service drone pilots will also be on standby.

Matthew Malone, a drone pilot for the Secret Service, explained how their team utilizes drones to respond to medical situations. “We can use the drone to go over to the location where the medical situation has been reported, identify the issue, and direct our first responders to the exact area,” Malone stated.

The Milwaukee Police Department Harbor Patrol is maintaining a vigilant watch, ready to respond to any possible dangers lurking in Lake Michigan.

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman stated that they have extensive knowledge of the waterways in their area. He emphasized the significance of understanding the sensitive areas and ensuring proper security measures are taken.

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The official in charge of security for the Democratic National Convention in August, based in Chicago, has expressed confidence in the plans and preparations made by the Secret Service.

According to Jeff Burnside, the Secret Service Coordinator, the safety of the convention attendees is not the only concern. With almost 2.7 million residents living and working in the city of Chicago daily, their safety is also a top priority.

Chicago law enforcement officials are taking proactive measures to ensure public safety during protests and potential civil unrest. To this end, officers will be equipped with bicycles to better control crowds, giving them an edge in maneuverability. The city’s police chief acknowledges the potential threat posed by both terrorism and unruly crowds, emphasizing the importance of finding a balance between the right to protest and maintaining order and security.

According to Chicago Police Superintendent, Larry Snelling, protecting citizens’ rights is of utmost importance. However, the police department is also making preparations and providing training for situations where de-escalation is not possible, and the situation escalates beyond control.

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MBS Staff
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