A presidential visit this weekend has the Green Bay Police Department busy at work to ensure that everything moves along smoothly.
On Saturday, April 27, the President will be holding a rally at the Resch Center which is set to get underway starting at 7 p.m. Trump was here twice in 2016, once at St. Norbert and another time at the KI Convention Center, but this will be his first visit as a sitting President.
For Commander Kevin Warych with the Green Bay Police Department, he thinks that distinction will bring with it some added security measures, but overall, not much should change.
“We have the luxury of leaning on what we did in the past,” he says. “We’ve had a lot of elected officials come thru, when this occurs we kind of go back and reevaluate what we did in the past.”
Perhaps one distinction that is unique to this situation is just how quick the turnaround will have to be from the news breaking, to preparing safety protocol, to executing those plans. The announcement from the Trump Re-election Campaign came on April 16, giving the department roughly a week and a half to establish a game plan.
Thankfully, they aren’t solely tasked with providing security. Rather they work in conjunction with other local law enforcement agencies to pool together resources and share the collective burden.
“We work very closely with all the law enforcement agencies in Brown County,” explains Commander Warych. “It’s not just one single agency that provides this protection, but it’s a collaboration of law enforcement agencies coming together.”
Additionally, the collective ground of local law enforcement is teaming up with the Secret Service to work alongside them in the effort. Commander Warych says planning with the Secret Service began immediately after news of the rally broke.
“When they contact us and advise us of potential travel plans we work with them and we have pre-meetings, and meetings, and meetings, to determine what is needed,” he says.
One reason for their confidence is that they have great practice in handling large groups of people in that area every year throughout the fall and winter.
“It’s just going to be a large number of people in a designated area,” says Commander Warych. “We deal with that every Sunday during the Packers season and we have protocols and emergency operation plans.”
While the nature of the event is different than a football game, he still expects protocol and procedure to hold firm.
“We don’t anticipate any problems,” says Commander Warych. “But we also want to prepare for any potential scenario.”
Lastly, the department is asking for the communities patience this weekend. He says some roads may be closed that typically aren’t in that area, which can result in slower traffic and potential detours. His advice is to prepare for increased foot traffic in the area and stay aware of your surroundings to remain safe on the roads.