WELDON SPRING, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says law enforcement officials have been working around the clock to make sure residents and businesses will be kept safe once prosecutors announce whether a suburban St. Louis police officer will face charges for fatally shooting 18-year-old Michael Brown.
A grand jury is expected to decide later this month whether to indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in Brown's Aug. 9 death.
Weeks of protests followed the shooting and officials are trying to make sure things remain calm once the grand jury decision is announced.
Nixon says looting and violence that marred mostly peaceful protests cannot be repeated.
He says the state highway patrol will work with St. Louis County and city police as one unified command. The National Guard will also be available if needed.
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A release from the Governor’s office:
than 1,000 law enforcement officers have received additional training
to protect the public in advance of the grand jury decision in the
Michael Brown case, Gov.
announced today. The Governor joined state and local law enforcement
officials at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C headquarters in
to discuss the coordinated efforts underway to protect the public, while
ensuring peaceful demonstrators can exercise their constitutional
safe,” Gov. Nixon said.
“That is why we have been working around the clock to prepare to keep
residents and businesses of the St. Louis region safe – regardless of
the outcome of the parallel local and federal investigations.”
from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police, and
St. Louis Metropolitan Police will operate as a unified command to
protect the public. Among the actions taken by unified command agencies
than 1,000 law enforcement officers have received a total of more than 5,000 hours of additional training;
enforcement planning efforts have included coordination with fire and EMS services; and
of Public Safety has distributed additional communications equipment to
ensure seamless communication between agencies.
continue to be part of the contingency planning process.
law enforcement,” Gov. Nixon said. “We must and we will be prepared.”
to protect and serve all citizens, including demonstrators,” said Chief Sam Dotson
of the St. Louis Police Metropolitan Department. “While everyone is
welcome to have their voices heard, putting the lives of other citizens
or police officers at risk will not be tolerated.”
leaders of the agencies in the unified command are focused on the
of life, the protection of property and ensuring that all peaceful
demonstrators can exercise their free speech rights,” St. Louis County
Police Chief Jon Belmar
said. “We also want the public to know that we are fully committed to
preventing law breakers from threatening public safety.”
people who are reflective of the diversity that must exist to truly achieve outcomes that benefit all,” said Captain Ron Johnson,
commander of Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C. “Violence and
destruction will not define us. Instead, it is the voice of change –
which can be heard because of the First Amendment – that will define the
true character of our region. We will protect the
people’s voice of change and ensure the safety of all.”
coordinated effort will be guided by the core principles of keeping the
public safe, while allowing people to speak,” the Governor said. “People
have a right to express their views and grievances. But they do not
have a right to put their fellow citizens at risk. As I’ve said before,
violence will not be tolerated.”
designed to strengthen communities and address the underlying issues exposed by events in Ferguson.
Office of Community Engagement, led by former state Senator Maida
Coleman, has been gathering input and developing strategies to address
the challenges facing low-income and minority communities.
summer jobs program will connect 2,000 young people from low-income
families in the St. Louis region with high-impact summer employment next
Governor is assembling the Ferguson Commission, which will be tasked with
studying root causes and making actionable recommendations for addressing them.
from the State of Missouri, a coalition of public and private
organizations and businesses provided $1 million in zero-interest loans
to businesses affected by the civil unrest.