Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said the Saturday rally by a KKK-affiliated group will cost the city a lot of money even though the group is from out of town.
The city obviously supports free speech, but “this is ridiculous,” the mayor said.
“It’s super frustrating and it’s super expensive too — I think that’s what really bothers us,” Whaley said. “Anybody can come into a community from anywhere and they have a First Amendment right and it costs that community a ton of money.”
The city does not yet have a cost estimate of what it will take to provide police, security and other public resources related to the rally, officials said.
Whaley on Wednesday again urged community members to avoid downtown during the rally.
There are multiple events outside of downtown that people can attend that will highlight some of Dayton’s values, like diversity, Whaley said.
“We recognize that people have things they want to say, and we have places they can say it, just not downtown,” Whaley said.
Dayton police Lt. Col. Matt Carper, assistant chief and deputy director, said the department has been preparing for the event for several weeks and has received assistance from outside resources.
“We are very confident that we can provide a location that is safe for the community to exercise their right to free speech,” Carper said.
Carper said the police department has clearly communicated with the public what will be acceptable and not acceptable behaviors and activities.
People will be required to act safely and lawfully, and police need to maintain order to keep people and the community safe and to prevent property damage downtown, Carper said.