C'Ville Officials Share Safety Measures for August 11 & 12 Second Anniversary
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville police are sharing specifics on safety measures planned for the second anniversary of the deadly violence at the 2017 Unite the Right Rally. At a public briefing Wednesday night, community members got a closer look at what they can expect for the weekend.
City officials emphasized that they are taking a very different approach to prepare for the weekend, compared to the previous year. They are hoping for the best, but still, have certain precautions in place in case things take a turn for the worst.
"I think the city was very well prepared last year and we had to be. I think this year we were able to transition to engaging the community and we were ready to do it differently,” said Brian Wheeler, communications director.
Wednesday night the city held an informational session on planned events and public safety measures for the weekend ahead.
Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney said her department plans to take a different approach from last year. "What you can expect to see this year is a very soft presence, we're using the format similar to the NCAA Championship games."
The only anticipated street closures will be the side streets around Market Street Park and the Fourth & Second Street crossings on the Downtown Mall.
"You'll see lots of officers on their bicycles, on their motorcycles, and on foot patrols so that we can engage the residents the citizens who are coming, attendees who want to participate in any and all activities,” said Brackney.
Now even though Fourth Street will be closed to thru traffic during the weekend, the city wanted to make sure that people could still gather to reflect and pay their respects as a community safely.
Brackney wouldn't share the expected number of police in the city but did say the department would be working closely with University of Virginia, Albemarle County, and state police to keep people safe throughout the weekend.
“This year the joy has been to be able to think about our safety and security in a very different way. That we get to reclaim the narrative around what does it feel like to be safe here,” said Brackney.
For a full list of the anticipated street closures and events planned for the upcoming weekend, you can click here.