DAYTON, Ohio(WDTN)- By Friday night, several layers of security were set in place in downtown Dayton. Courthouse Square was essentially turned into a fortress.
The square was enclosed in multiple layers of fencing, barricades and police surveillance. Along with police monitoring the area in person, additional camera were installed all around the downtown area.
“The broader downtown area is going to be monitored extensively, so we’re going to have a lot of eyes on what’s going on,” said Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl.
The city has not disclosed what the security measures will end up costing.
“Tax payers are paying for this. I think (the mayor) should make (the hate-group) pay for it,” said Dayton resident, Robert Hale.
In a statement, Mayor Nan Whaley said:
“The presence of this hate group in Dayton is extremely frustrating. We do not want this group here. We are angry that we have to spend public resources responding to people who want to make our neighbors feel less safe. In so many ways, this event detracts from all of the work we should be doing in our community.
This group’s only goal is to provoke a response and to create anger and division. It is troubling that media attention has amplified the hateful views of a handful of degenerates to a national audience. That being said, I am proud of Daytonians’ overwhelming response of standing together and insisting that all of our neighbors be treated with dignity and respect.
We’re hopeful that the rally tomorrow happens without incident, and Dayton Police and Fire have worked closely with public safety experts across the country to create a space for everyone to safely express their views.
The City of Dayton does not want these people here. I hope this weekend will be remembered only for the way that Daytonians stood united against hate.”
“Everyone is standing together and this is not going to break them apart.” said Molly Hale. She believes Daytonians won’t be changed by the hate group’s visit and like the city hopes Saturday’s rally will end in peace.