LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ7) In Lexington, officials are looking ahead two weeks at the weekend shared by the birthday celebrations for Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A parade hosted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans for some 17 years was displaced from its traditional Saturday spot last year by a march celebrating inclusion, moving it to Sunday.
This year, the SCV is back on Saturday, the CARE parade is on Monday, and all eyes are looking back at Charlottesville.
It was the scene in Charlottesville last August that was on Lexington officials’ minds Thursday morning as they demonstrated the breadth and depth of their planning for this year’s events.
“Law enforcement, public safety, has really taken a proactive and collaborative planning posture to plan for these events,” Lexington Police Chief Sam Roman explained at a press conference.
Backed by city leaders and police from the state, county, and local institutions, Lexington’s police chief was reluctant to share precise details of the plans, but wanted to emphasize that careful work had been put into them.
“Part of being prepared is having the equipment, having the personnel allocation – the people – and the skill to accomplish the mission at hand," Roman said. "And I can tell you that all of those categories have been checked.”
Parade organizers say they have met with police, and police say the lessons of Charlottesville have been on their mind.
“Are there any lessons learned?" Roman asked rhetorically. "Absolutely. There are lessons learned and we took those lessons into account and into our planning process.”
Including a legal ban on a list of objects, including bats, shields, and other weapons.