Federal helicopter scanning for radioactivity among several security preparations underway ahead of RNC

NOW: Federal helicopter scanning for radioactivity among several security preparations underway ahead of RNC

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Security preparations continued near Fiserv Forum and throughout the city.

Crews will spend the next several days putting up barriers around Deer District as they create the security perimeter that will be in effect during the RNC.

Thousands of sections of metal fencing barriers will go up over the next few days, but overall, there is a quiet calm before the storm: several bars were closed Tuesday, July 9, and there was not much foot traffic.

The roaring helicopter blades will likely become familiar over the next few days. The National Nuclear Security Administration helicopter spent more than two hours Tuesday evening tracing a grid over the city of Milwaukee.

The helicopter is equipped with specialized detection systems to perform radiological and nuclear detection scans.

The chopper was one of the more conspicuous security operations underway as the RNC preparations continued.

On the ground, crews began installing metal barriers that will delineate the different security zones.

Thousands of metal sections will be screwed into place to create a continuous fence around Deer District and the surrounding areas.

Evelyn Bradley, of Milwaukee, was walking around the area Tuesday evening. She told us, "It's nice to see the Republican Convention 2024 down here. There's always something nice going on down here."

Bradley and some friends were showing her visiting cousin around.

They were some of the only people in the area as many nearby bars were closed. But many are gearing up for a slate of nearly 100 public and private events that will start Sunday.

Bradley said she's a Democrat and likely won't be around during the convention, but she still wants it to succeed so that it benefits the city. She said, "Hopefully it goes well, they get their message across, and hopefully the listeners take in what they need to take in, so we know who to vote for when it's time to vote."

As the evening wore down, dozens of workers headed home, presumably to hotels and restaurants expecting to benefit from several weeks of preparation.

Security restrictions are not yet in place, so people are free to go to the area for now.

But parking restrictions are in effect, making it a challenge for locals to find a spot near Deer District.

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