UPD Express Concerns, Expectations Of Occupy Utica Movement
Utica, NY (WIBX) - As organizers of Occupy Utica prepare to take their stance in solidarity with other occupy events taking place across the country--Utica police officials say they're prepared. Public Information Officer, Sergeant Steve Hauck says they've met several times with members of the group about their intentions and says so far everyone seems to be on the same page. He adds, however, that UPD did share its concerns about the city's park ordinance.
Hauck said, "There are several ordinances that apply to city parks and that information has been shared with the organizers and one of them is being in a city park after 9 o'clock. For the police I think that we have discretion on certain issues, but if it stays peaceful we don't anticipate any arrests." He says they anticipate a peaceful gathering. He goes on to say, "Hopefully they get their message out in a peaceful way--and, you know, the police are here to protect their rights too and one of them is freedom of speech."
Also, he says officials don't expect the protesters to disrupt traffic when they're slated to gather around 5:00 p.m. today because they were designated to remain off the sidewalks. They were also asked to park their vehicles on Liberty Street, which Hauck says is a very large lot that's owned by the city. He says at this point no one really knows how many people will show up for the protest and they're taking a wait and see approach.