News and Updates

January 15, 2024 News

Public safety is a must. We thank the members of law enforcement who are working tirelessly as they prioritize public safety and security for guests and residents in Milwaukee.

Preparations are well underway for the 2024 Republican National Convention, which will be held at Fiserv Forum from July 15-18. A big part of those preparations revolves around public safety and security.

Mounted patrol officers from the Milwaukee and Madison Police departments, as well as the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin State Fair Police departments, are getting ready for the big event.

All departments gathered at Milwaukee Urban Stables to train together. This type of collaboration is unique. It’s not common to have the state’s entire force of mounted patrol units working alongside each other.

“The RNC is going to be like the Super Bowl for the year,” said Milwaukee Police Mounted Patrol Sgt. Neil Verburgt. “So, we want to be well prepared.”

Verburgt said the horses and the officers who handle them, will mainly be utilized for crowd control during expected protesting outside the convention.

“When we all get together and train in this environment, we can work together, integrate and solve problems here,” he said. “Then we hope to translate that to success out in the field at the RNC.”

The officers are working on desensitizing and de-spooking the horses, so they are prepared for anything in the field. They are practicing how to walk in formations, and are training for emergency scenarios that could include smoke and fire hazards, loud noises, etc.

Officer John Pederson has been with the Milwaukee Police Department’s Mounted Patrol since it started in 1999. He said this type of training is invaluable.

“For the RNC, we are really going to step up our game and get a lot of training in, so we are on the same page when the event happens,” Pederson said.

It’s an added layer of security that’s ready to serve when Milwaukee becomes the center of American politics in July.