Milwaukee will send 36 police officers to help protect the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Mn., next month, says the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Police Chief Edward Flynn said that he and Deputy Inspector Denita Ball will travel to St. Paul to observe the Milwaukee unit's performance for one or two days of the four-day convention. Flynn said he believed the federal government would pay all expenses for him and Ball, even though they won't be there for crowd control. St. Paul has appealed to other Midwestern law enforcement agencies for help in dealing with the crowds of spectators and protesters expected to descend on the convention Sept. 1-4. Because the U.S. Secret Service is in charge of convention security, the federal government is reimbursing all police costs.
Flynn is sending a platoon from his Major Incident Response Team partly in the spirit of mutual aid, and partly to give his officers valuable training to prepare for presidential candidate visits in an election year. All of the officers involved will use time off to attend the convention, and the federal government will pay them at overtime rates. The Milwaukee officers would be on the front lines alongside St. Paul police, but they won’tt have arrest powers. They could handcuff suspects, but officially a St. Paul officer would make the arrest and the Milwaukee officer would be considered a witness.