Monday, during a press conference before the Grand Jury announcement of whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will face charges for fatally shooting Michael Brown during a confrontation in August Governor Nixon announced that local churches will serve as safe houses to anyone needing medical or mental help during any potential riots or protests.
Nixon said, “I also spoke with a number of faith leaders late this afternoon who offered their prayers for peace and safety. Together, we are all focused on making sure the necessary resources are at hand to protect lives, protect property, and protect free speech. Several churches will be providing safe havens to provide food, shelter and care. These health professionals are working right now to provide counseling and other services to the people that need them.
Law enforcement officials continue to maintain open lines of communication with protest leaders to improve the interactions between police and demonstrators and prevent violence. I want to thank my director of public safety for taking part in these ongoing discussions. State and local law enforcement agencies are continuing to work hand in hand to make sure the best, most experienced officers are on the street.
The men and women of the National Guard will also be in the area to provide security at critical facilities like firehouses, police stations, and utility substations and offer logistical and transportation support as needed. This will help free up law enforcement officers to do their jobs effectively. In closing, I would like to reiterate my call for peace, respect, and restraint and thank everyone out there who is working hard to make sure communities throughout the region are safe and secure.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN