Ahead of Charlottesville Anniversary Rally, Virginia Declares State of Emergency
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville proactively declared a state of emergency ahead of the one-year anniversary of the violent white nationalist rally there that left one woman dead and dozens of others injured. Officials said Wednesday's declaration would streamline state and local operations this weekend while also allocating $2 million in state funds.
The declaration authorizes the Virginia National Guard to assist in security efforts. Law enforcement officials say there will be a heavy police presence meant to deter any violence.
Virginia State Police Superintendent Gary Settle said more than 700 state police will be activated during the weekend and that they are "fully prepared to act" to prevent any incidents like last year.
CBS affiliate WCAV-TV says the response efforts have been in development since March. With regard to the security area in downtown Charlottesville, law enforcement personnel will man two entry points for pedestrians seeking to exit the security area.
"Declaring this state of emergency in advance of the anniversary and the related planned events will help us ensure that the state and the city have all available resources to support emergency responders in case they're needed," said Northam.