The Secret Service in Chicago has to handle security for two party conventions

The Secret Service in Chicago has to handle security for two party conventions
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(WASHINGTON) — One Secret Service office in Chicago is responsible for securing both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention and no stone is left unturned — from large-scale security measures to making sure residents in Chicago and Milwaukee aren’t missing trash pickup.

The Secret Service Chicago Field Office is responsible for the entire states of Illinois, Wisconsin, the Quad Cities portion of Iowa and the northern part of Indiana, a “huge land mass” according to the Deputy Special Agent in Charge Derek Mayer, who spoke with ABC News in an exclusive interview.

By law once a National Special Security Event (NSSE) has been established by the secretary of homeland security, the Secret Service becomes the coordinator of the event. Other NSSE’s include the presidential inauguration and the State of the Union. There will be five NSSE’s this year, one of the busiest.

“It’s unprecedented that a field office has had two NSSE events this close that were both conventions,” he said.

Mayer said the office has fewer than 100 agents, and most agents are working to help secure both conventions in which they’ve been planning for it since last April.

“In our world, security comes first, but we also we don’t want a disruption to the public,” he said. “We want everybody to still be able to live their daily lives while we still secure events.”

Part of that is working with the Postal Service, trash pickup services and package delivery services to ensure residents are still able to live normally.

“One thing that we have been doing the last several months is public outreach, community outreach, to make sure that the business owners and the public are well informed about what our expectations are and what their expectations are to us,” he said. “So we can avoid as many disruptions as possible”

Mayer said the office has been working with state and local police department including the Milwaukee and Chicago Police Departments, to help secure the Conventions.

In addition to security preparations for the conventions, the Chicago field office has been busy with everyday tasks such as protecee visits and investigating cyber and financial crimes.

“We’re a very active investigative office, one of the most active in the United States,” he said. “We do we open over 100 investigative cases a year. These cases include counterfeit cyber, financial crime, and other types of financial crimes.”

Last year, the Chicago field office cyber team says it prevented more than $119 million in losses.

The office also does protective intelligence, meaning every threat made to the current or former president and first lady has to be investigated, if they are in their coverage area.

Mayer said the visits from protecees have already doubled since last year.

“We do have protectee visits and Wisconsin is a battleground state,” he said. “So, we are consistently getting protected visits there. So, last year, 2023 Chicago field office had over 80 protected visits. Obviously, we’re going to crush that in 2024.”

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