Jan. 6, 2012 - Boulder police chief visits Occupy Boulder encampment, discusses city park hours
Friday, Jan. 6, 2012
Boulder police chief visits Occupy Boulder encampment, discusses city park hours
Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner, along with Boulder Police Cmdr. Carey Weinheimer, visited participants at the Occupy Boulder encampment outside the Municipal Building this afternoon to discuss the new rule that goes into effect tonight, which closes city parks between the hours of 11 p.m and 5 a.m.
The rule prohibits anyone from remaining in city parks, parkways or recreation areas, with the exception of bicyclists and pedestrians who are passing through the areas. Individuals remaining between the hours of 11 p.m and 5 a.m. will be in violation of the city’s trespassing rule and subject to receiving a summons or being arrested. The chief and commander handed out copies of the new regulation as they spoke to individuals at the encampment this afternoon.
Because Occupy Boulder protestors have been camping overnight on the Sister Cities’ Plaza outside of the Municipal Building for several weeks, Chief Beckner wanted to make sure individuals were aware of the change, which goes into effect tonight.
“Boulder police officers have been engaging in dialogues with Occupy Boulder participants all along. I thought it was important to continue those dialogues so that they understood the new rule, when it goes into effect and what the potential consequences are if they decide to stay,” Beckner said. “The police department intends to enforce the trespassing regulation, but what we are really hoping for is voluntary compliance. We support all people’s First Amendment rights to express their opinions, and hope they will do so during the daytime hours.”
Discussions between the chief and the participants at the encampment were low-key and positive, as most of the interactions have been to date. Many of the protestors are planning to comply with the new rule and some shared with Chief Beckner their plans for packing up their tents and making arrangements to protest during hours that the city parks are open.
Police intend to enforce the park closure rule, although the department has not set a timeline to do so.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 09:08