COLUMBUS, Ga. — The Columbus Police Department tells News 3 its officers have seen the violent events at recent Charlottesville protests, and the department is updating its special event permits policy to ensure it is prepared to handle any protest requests in the city.
The violent, deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virginia last week sparked questions in many minds how our local police force could contain similar events and better prepare for them.
CPD says the updated application policy for a special events permit now requires groups of 16 or more to apply no less than 10 days in advance. It also says gatherings of 15 or less will only need five days notice. If the requested event will be close to a public street the request must be made in 30 days advance to give police adequate time to prepare.
Lieutenant Herman Miles says proper review of events in other cities can help local law enforcement deal with potentially tense situations.
“We can look at what happened in Charlottesville and look at some of the things their law enforcement did and whether we think they were right or wrong and we can look at it and say, ‘Well we don’t want to do this or we don’t want to do that.’ But as far as stopping a situation from happening, I don’t think there’s much you can do but prepare,” Lt. Miles says.
He says protest requests haven’t gone up or down a noticeable amount, but the new policies will make sure police are ready if they do.
Theresa El-Amin is the regional director for the Southern Anti-Racism Network. She says via an email she’s scheduled to speak at City Council on Tuesday regarding the Confederate monument on Broadway in Uptown.