McAllen PD to assist Wisconsin with security at Republican National Convention

The Fiserv Forum stands Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Milwaukee. The Wisconsin city is scheduled to host the 2024 Republican National Convention. (Morry Gash/AP Photo)
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McALLEN — Nearly two dozen police officers here will travel to Wisconsin this weekend to assist the Milwaukee Police Department with security during the 2024 Republican National Convention.

There, Republican delegates from across the nation and six U.S. territories are expected to name former President Donald Trump their official nominee for November’s presidential election.

More than 50,000 people are expected to attend the four-day long convention at the Fiserv Forum arena, home of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, from July 15-18.

And assisting Milwaukee 1,800 sworn officers in providing event security will be 19 officers from right here in the Rio Grande Valley.

“We look forward to our police men and women to represent McAllen at this … event that will have national exposure,” McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said at McAllen City Hall on Monday.

The chief spoke just moments before the McAllen City Commission greenlit the mutual aid agreement between the two departments.

It’s an agreement that’s been more than a year in the making, the chief said.

About 15 months ago, Milwaukee put out a call for help, asking law enforcement agencies if they had the will and capacity to assist them, Rodriguez explained.

McAllen was just one of the agencies who answered the call by completing a survey. Ultimately, the Valley police department was one of several selected to assist.

Since then, the two departments have spent a lot of time in logistical planning.

“Once we had an understanding with Milwukee as to what we were able to do, then Wisconsin and Texas came together and, through a mutual aid agreement between the states, we were able to finalize (the plan),” Rodriguez said.

The mutual aid agreement was facilitated between the state of Wisconsin and the Texas Department of Emergency Management, or TDEM, according to materials included with Monday’s city commission meeting agenda packet.

“Such assistance is subject to Inter-Governmental EMAC (emergency management assistance compact) through the Texas Division of Emergency Management. … Such EMAC agreements include provisions for reimbursement of costs including hourly pay rates, travel, meals and lodging,” states a memo addressed to McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez.

McAllen police patrol 17th Street just after midnight Friday, March 20, 2020, in McAllen. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

McAllen’s officers will work 12-hour shifts and may be asked to assist with “crowd management, resource guarding, delegate escorts, fixed site security, or other similar positions,” the EMAC agreement states.

In exchange for McAllen PD’s assistance, Wisconsin will pay the department more than $114,500 for their seven days of service. That includes more than $84,000 to pay the 19 officers’ wages, nearly $20,000 for travel, and about $11,000 for other incidental expenses.

In sum, McAllen’s officers will be paid between $528-$835 per day during the specialty assignment, with their overall pay ranging from $3,700 to $5,748, records show.

The 19 volunteers represent about two squads’ worth of McAllen police personnel, the police chief said.

However, the department’s daily operations will not be affected by their temporary absence.

“We took from what we call ‘specialized units.’ That’s what we can do in order to not affect our line,” Rodriguez said.

However, Rodriguez expressed pride over the fact that his department was selected to assist with such a high-profile national event, saying the experience could go a long way toward the Valley’s ability to attract similarly large scale events here.

“In years past, we’ve tried to get some of those national events down here, so this, I think, would better posture us to say that we have more kinds of experience behind us,” the chief said.

Rodriguez also added that McAllen’s participation in the RNC is not about politics or partisanship, but about assisting a fellow law enforcement agency that needed help.

“I don’t want to get into sides, but if somebody (asks) why them? They asked. Milwaukee asked,” Rodriguez said.