Police agencies in the District are turning on surveillance cameras, closing streets and making other security preparations for the immigration protest today on the Mall, but anticipate a peaceful event.
“We are not expecting any problems,” said Sgt. Scott Fear, spokesman for U.S. Park Police, which is responsible for law enforcement on the Mall. “We are expecting a peaceful rally. We have talked with parade organizers.”
Sgt. Fear also said the agency will have additional officers on duty, including police on foot patrols, mounted on horses and in cars.
The rally is expected to begin about 1 p.m. near the Washington Monument and peak after 3 p.m. when more demonstrators arrive from Meridian Hill Park, in the Northwest neighborhood of Mount Pleasant.
The Metropolitan Police Department plans to close sections of 16th, H and 15th streets from the park to the Mall, which could interfere with the evening rush hour.
“The streets will reopen immediately once the protesters have passed,” said Karyn G. LeBlanc, a spokeswoman for the District’s Department of Transportation.
D.C. police officials said they will have 19 surveillance cameras activated during the rally.
Most of the cameras are mounted on buildings downtown and in Georgetown. They are focused on public spaces around the Mall, the U.S. Capitol, Union Station, the White House, other critical sites and main traffic routes through the city.
Officers will monitor the camera images in the Joint Operations Command Center at city police headquarters.
Police in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Northern Virginia jurisdictions are prepared but plan to help only in the case of an emergency.