DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – On Wednesday, the City of Dayton outlined their final preparations for this weekend’s hate rally. Mayor Nan Whaley says they’re hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
Dayton police say they’re very pleased with the level of preparation, adding it’s been a complex process involving many layers of law enforcement.
Mayor Whaley says the financial burden thrust upon the city is ridiculous.
Lt. Col. Matt Carper of the Dayton Police Department says, “Everything has been factored in, everything has been considered, and our plan meets that expectation.”
Dayton police have spent weeks working with state and federal agencies to make sure Saturday’s hate rally goes as smoothly as possible. Lt. Col. Carper says, “We’ve had a lot of assistance from outside resources in a lot of talented resources from the inside, so I believe we’re very confident it will provide a location that’s safe for the community.”
Carper declined to say how many officers would be on duty, but several roads will close around the square for safety.
WATCH City Commission passes resolution declaring May 25 “Beloved Community Day”:
Mayor Whaley says the cost to the city will be substantial. “It’s super frustrating and it’s super expensive, too. That’s the thing that really bothers us. Anybody can come into a community from anywhere by first amendment right, and then it costs that community a ton of money.”
Whaley was asked what she expects to happen. She pointed to the past: “I think this could be very similar to ‘94. I’ve been briefed on the tapes of ‘94 and we just want people to remain safe.”
At the 1994 rally in Courthouse Square, 9 KKK members showed up. The city’s legal department expects 6-10 this Saturday. Whaley is hopeful Daytonians and counter-protesters from out of town will stay away and peacefully gather elsewhere.
“We recognize that people have things they want to say, and we have places they can say it, just not downtown.”