Police discuss plans to keep peace in Charlottesville on Aug. 12 anniversary
The Virginia State Police plans to have a "vast number" of troopers in the Charlottesville area during the weekend of Aug. 12.
State police and other law enforcement agencies talked Wednesday afternoon to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors about their plans to keep things peaceful on the anniversary of the Unite the Right rally.
Captain Craig Worsham with Virginia State Police said some troopers will start arriving in the Charlottesville area on Aug. 7 and will remain for the duration of the following weekend.
"We're fully prepared not to have a re-do of last year," Worsham said, "because that is the last thing any of us want."
Albemarle County Police Chief Ron Lantz said his officers will be working 12-hour shifts. He asked members of the community to call 911 if they see anything suspicious that weekend.
Lantz said additional officers will be "hitting bigger parking lots and the main corridors where travel would come in from different areas."
Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney explained the plan to close several streets downtown to traffic and to restrict parking around the Downtown Mall and downtown parks.
"We are planning for quick response teams for any flare-ups that may occur," Brackney said.
Charlottesville, Albemarle County, state police and the University of Virginia will be working together in an emergency operations center during the weekend.
Board members asked if any single person would be responsible for making critical decisions, in case of an emergency, such as a decision to declare an unlawful assembly. Worsham said all critical decisions will be made by a team within the operations center.
"I'll be very happy on Monday morning [Aug. 13] for the community to accuse us of having been too prepared," said Charlottesville Fire Chief Andrew Baxter.