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City of Milwaukee to run tight ship for security during Republican National Convention

City of Milwaukee announces RNC security plans
City of Milwaukee announces RNC security plans 02:38

MILWAUKEE (CBS) -- For the first time, details have been released about how tight security will be at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee next month.

The U.S. Secret Service on Friday announced its security perimeters, road closures, and protest locations.

The RNC will take place from July 15 through July 18—primarily at the Fiserv Forum, at 1111 Vel R. Phillips Ave. in downtown Milwaukee. A hard security perimeter has been set up a few yards from the Fiserv Forum—and only those with a credential can go beyond it.

This means no rideshares, no food delivery, no pedestrians, and no protesters—though protesters can get reasonably close on one side.

"There is still no higher priority than public safety, which is clearly a theme from today," said City of Milwaukee chief of staff Nicholas DeSiato.

Delegates, speakers, volunteers, and anyone with a credential and ticket will make their way into the Fiserv Forum and surrounding buildings for the main events. The UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and the Baird Center—located directly south of the Fiserv Forum at 400 W. Kilbourn Ave. and 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., respectively—will also be used for the convention.

Nobody else will be getting anywhere near any of these buildings—and police warned that they will be running a tight ship.

"We will not tolerate any acts of violence, any destruction of property in our city," said Milwaukee police Chief Jeffrey Norman.

The Secret Service released maps showing a hard perimeter surrounding the Fiserv Forum, the Panther Arena, and the Baird Center, and another one covering the Henry W. Maier Festival Park.

Vehicles will be screened at an outer perimeter bounded roughly by Cherry Street on the north, the Milwaukee River on the east, Clybourn Street on the south, and 9th Street on the west.

Security checkpoints are denoted on the map as black dots.

City of Milwaukee, via CBS 58

Cars will also be screened alongside Henry W. Maier Festival Park in an area bounded by Clybourn Street on the north, the park on the east, and Jackson and Jefferson streets on the west.

City of Milwaukee, via CBS 58

Anyone trying to get into either zone will need to go through a security checkpoint. Weapons are forbidden within the red perimeter, but legal weapons are permissible outside it.

"We went up to the line through whatever we can do within the state statute," DeSiato said.

Some businesses in the red zone have been entirely rented out to the media. They are not open to the public.

"This corner of Milwaukee is pretty much the center of the universe for two, three days this July," said Brent Brashier, owner and chief BBQ officer at DOC's Commerce Smokehouse, 754 Vel R. Phillips Ave.

Brashier's restaurant sits right on the border of the red zone. He is ready for business.

"After all that we've been through in the restaurant business the past few years, we're just going to keep smiling, and have a good time, and make it work, right?" Brashier said. "I mean, I think that even some protesters want a beer and some barbecue sometimes."

There are two approved protest zones, which border the spaces within the hard perimeter. Officers from the Chicago Police Department are reportedly coming to help enforce.

"We believe we've provided premier access on both the north and south side," said DeSiato.

The City of Milwaukee said it has already approved about 103 protest groups to exercise their First Amendment rights at the convention. They said they have not denied anyone.

This is the opposite of Chicago, where the Democratic National Convention is being held in August, and which has not approved any protest groups.

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