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Secret Service, Chicago police prepare for DNC

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(The Center Square) – The U.S. Secret Service is preparing for public-safety challenges ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago this summer.

DNC events will be held at the United Center and McCormick Place from Aug. 19 through the 22. Secret Service DNC 2024 coordinator Jeff Burnside said preparations have been going on for some time.

“Since May, the United States Secret Service has been working with our city, state, county and federal partners to devise a DNC security plan that ensures a safe environment and minimizes disruptions,” Burnside said.

Burnside said the Secret Service is responsible for security inside the convention sites.

“But it’s important to note that our agency does not impose security plans on local jurisdictions. We work in partnership with local agencies and private industry,” Burnside said.

Chicago police are expected to be very busy during the DNC. Thousands of protesters and a multitude of security threats are expected, in addition to the everyday challenges facing officers.

Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling said the U.S. Secret Service will be responsible for securing the inside of the convention sites at the United Center and McCormick Place.

“This will allow CPD to focus on everything going on outside of the convention, including large-scale, First Amendment activity,” Snelling said.

Snelling said officers’ training is rooted in constitutional public safety and that safety is the city’s priority.

“We will protect all those exercising their First Amendment rights, as well as those who are working, living, visiting in the areas affected by the convention,” Snelling said.

Chicago will be hosting the DNC for the 12th time, but 2024 marks the city’s first time hosting the event since 1996.