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Local law enforcement prepares for NFL Draft

Participants in this exercise included members of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, the Green Bay police department, Ashwaubenon Public Safety, the Howard Fire Department, the FBI, Brown County Emergency Management, the Oshkosh police department, Oneida Emergency Management and the Brown County Public Health Department. Eva Westein photo

By Eva Westein

Contributing Writer

GREEN BAY – On June 11, various public safety entities from the greater Green Bay area participated in a three-day scenario-based course on managing an incident within the context of sports and large-scale special events.

The Green Bay Police Department hosted the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), which was brought in to run its Enhanced Sports and Special Events Incident Management Course in preparation for the 2025 NFL Draft coming to Lambeau field.

Participants in this exercise included members of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, the Green Bay police department, Ashwaubenon Public Safety, the Howard Fire Department, the FBI, Brown County Emergency Management, the Oshkosh police department, Oneida Emergency Management and the Brown County Public Health Department.

TEEX, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant-funded agency, comes into communities and trains local first responders free of charge when they are in the process of preparing for various events.

For the public safety officers in the greater Green Bay area, TEEX provided a comprehensive course based on active practice scenarios that encompassed planning and running an event of this magnitude as well as what to do if things go wrong.

TEEX, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant-funded agency, comes into communities and trains local first responders free of charge when they are in the process of preparing for various events. Eva Westein photo

They worked through how to handle disasters of all kinds, including man-made and weather-based incidents.

The opportunity to actively participate in mock scenarios is unique to TEEX’s training methods.

“We have subject matter experts from all around the country that come in and they fill the roles of law enforcement, fire, public health and the EMS, making radio calls, phone calls and actually giving them the real information that would come out of an incident or event that’s happening. It really immerses them into this process. There is only currently about four or five other classes within our whole consortium that offers this kind of environment where students get this really immersive experience,” said TEEX Agency Instructor Dr. James Burghard.

Although the draft is still nine months away, Burghard said that it is important to build relationships within the first responder community early on.

“Building these [relationships] way ahead of time helps us understand how we work together, our strengths and weaknesses and where we can build each other up and how we help each other be successful through events like the NFL draft,” Burghard explained.

Additionally, preparing for an event of this size requires more time and resources than the average Packer game.

A regular season football game is an event confined to one space and limited to a time frame of a few hours.

To host an event like the 2025 NFL Draft, public safety personnel have to anticipate larger crowds of people spread across larger portions of the city looking to attend a wider variety of events and activities.

Thanks to the TEEX training, first responders and public safety teams will be able to incorporate preventative measures as planning moves forward and will be even more prepared to handle an event of this scale.

Green Bay Police Chief Chris Davis said he is confident that they will have the support they need from surrounding communities to keep everything running smoothly.

“We’ve had a lot of conversations with other agencies in the neighborhood about how we can come together around this event and we won’t be able to do it without support, obviously from outside… and we’re fortunate in northeast Wisconsin that we all know each other and we have really good relationships and we support each other when these kinds of events come to our community,” Davis said.

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