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UVA Boosts Security Measures Ahead of August 12 Anniversary Weekend

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Police around the Charlottesville area are getting ready for whatever may happen during the one-year anniversary of the violence that took place on August 12, 2017.

At the University of Virginia, where a torch-lit march by white nationalist was held a day before the Unite the Right rally, barricades are up and extra security measures in place to protect Grounds this year.

The area surrounding the Thomas Jefferson statue is now been completely barricaded. Extra precautions, such as increased lighting, police personnel, and security cameras are also in place.

UVA police say there are multiple cameras surrounding the statue of Jefferson, as well as several outside of the barricaded zone.

According to UVA police, starting at 5 p.m. Friday, August 10 there will be restricted access to the plaza on the north side of the Rotunda until August 13.

UVA President Jim Ryan sent a letter out Friday afternoon, saying in part, " Based on the advice of our security teams we have decided, out of an abundance of caution, to close the [UVA] Lawn from 6 p.m. tonight until noon on Sunday, August 12th."


08/10/2018 Letter from UVA President Jim Ryan:

To the University community,

I want to update you on some decisions we have made since my last message.

Based on the advice of our security teams we have decided, out of an abundance of caution, to close the Lawn from 6 p.m. tonight until noon on Sunday, August 12th. This will help us continue to prepare for and secure both the UVA-sponsored event on Saturday morning in Old Cabell Hall and a student-organized rally on the North Plaza of the Rotunda, which will occur from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday evening. Lawn residents will still be allowed on the Lawn while it is closed to the public, as will attendees for Saturday morning’s event.

In order to make sure students and members of the community can gather peacefully Saturday night, we are also putting further security restrictions in place for that specific event, including metal detectors and a perimeter with a single point of entry. The University’s clear bag policy will be in effect and many items that can possibly be used to cause harm will not be allowed on University property. Finally, the number of people allowed on the North Plaza will be limited based on the recommendation of the fire marshal and the size of the plaza itself. There may be some road closures near the event as well, and if so, we will update you as soon as we can.

As I mentioned yesterday, my hope is that these precautions will prove unnecessary. But we are taking them in order to give students and other community members the best chance to gather peacefully without having to worry about their own safety.

Thank you for your attention and your understanding as we respond to this evolving situation. If we feel it is necessary to take more steps based on new information, we will be sure to let you know.

Best,
Jim Ryan