Some downtown Montgomery streets closing for possible protests
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery officials say select downtown streets will close at 6 p.m. Friday in response to protests planned in capital cities across the country ahead of Inauguration Day.
Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley says the public should expect soft closures along Dexter Avenue from Jan. 15-21.
Police are also suggesting that downtown businesses telework if possible.
“MPD is working with partners at the local, county, state and federal levels to isolate and secure our downtown perimeter. We encourage businesses and organizations located downtown to consider allowing employees to telework as much as possible next week, especially Wednesday. This is a proactive step that will keep employees safe in the event of an emergency, while also helping our officers and partner agencies patrol downtown Montgomery,” Finley said in a statement. “We remind anyone living and/or working downtown – or anywhere in Montgomery – that if you see something then say something. MPD is available 24/7. Call 911 to report ANY suspicious activity, even if it’s something that seems small but just doesn’t feel right.”
Friday night, the police department posted these projected road closures for upcoming protests on Jan. 17:
- South Ripley Street at Washington Avenue
- South Ripley Street at McDowell Lee Lane
- South Ripley Street at King Street
- South Ripley Street at Monroe Street
- Washington Avenue Street at South Bainbridge Street
- Monroe Street at South Bainbridge Street
- Dexter Avenue and Decatur Street (both sides)
- Dexter Avenue and South Hull Street (both sides)
- Dexter Avenue and South McDonough Street (both sides)
- Dexter Avenue and Lawrence Street (both sides)
- Dexter Avenue and Perry Street (both sides)
- Dexter Avenue and One Court Square
City of Montgomery offices will be closed to the public Tuesday and Wednesday. Montgomery County offices will be closed Wednesday only.
“The safety and well-being of our people are always top priorities. In no way do we want to alarm anyone. However, we want people to understand we are being proactive and cautious. We are taking all necessary steps to keep employees and residents safe,” said Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean.
“We appreciate the diligence and dedication of our law enforcement officers,” said Mayor Steven Reed. “Our goal is to put the health and safety of our employees and our residents first. While hoping for the best, Montgomery is prepared to handle any situation.”
The FBI has sent out a bulletin warning of protests in all 50 state capitals starting this weekend. Authorities say there is concern in Alabama of possible violence but there is no known credible threat to the Capitol.
Concrete barricades and cameras have been set up outside the Capitol building.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says it’s working with local police to provide safety and security to all state buildings, including the Capitol.
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