Councilors Hear from Emergency Agencies on What City Will Look Like on Aug. 12
The city of Charlottesville is informing the community on how it’s preparing for the anniversary of the Unite the Right rally.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The city of Charlottesville is informing the community on how it’s preparing for the anniversary of the Unite the Right rally.
On Monday, July 16, leaders from multiple emergency agencies spoke at the City Council meeting about how they are working together and how they plan to keep the community safe.
People in attendance learned about road closures, safety plans, and how first responders plan to work with local businesses and families to close certain things down on August 12.
“We are planning for worst-case scenarios,” says Andrew Baxter, the chief of the Charlottesville Fire Department. “I don't say that to frighten people, I say that to make sure that the community understands that that's our job.”
The city is working to ensure we don’t see a repeat of August 12.
“We understand that the upcoming anniversary weekend will evoke painful memories for a community that is in stages of hurt and healing,” says Mike Murphy, Charlottesville’s assistant city manager. “And we expect as a community that Charlottesville will continue to stand up against hate and violence.”
On Monday, leaders with Charlottesville police and fire departments, Albemarle police, the University of Virginia, and state police all spoke about their one unified plan for the upcoming anniversary.
“Our community can expect to see a significant mutual aid resources here that weekend,” says Baxter. “In addition to law enforcement, fire resources, emergency medical management resources, hazardous materials teams, additional fire marshals from the state.”
Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney says people can expect to see a larger perimeter, parking restrictions, and some street closures over that weekend.
“Restrictions will be in the areas between High and Water Street, and then we will also have them between 9th and McIntire Ridge," says Brackney.
Brackney also says the department is trying to figure out how closures in the city will look.
“So we are taking into consideration the persons and businesses that live in and around Emancipation Park, as well as Heather Heyer Way and the pedestrian mall, and taking into account what might their convenience look like,” says Brackney.
However, not everyone thinks that closing businesses and storefronts over the weekend is the answer.
"If businesses close and lose revenue, the Nazis have won," says Zoey Krylova, who lives in Charlottesville. "If police don't protect our counterprotesters, the Nazis have won, if police don't defend people of color, the Nazis have won."
If you're looking for more information on the city's plans, click here.
If you don't have access to the internet, Charlottesville police are working to pair a point of contact with each at-risk group and presidents of all of the neighborhood associations.