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 Posted: Thu May 24th, 2012 02:56 am
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jakinnaird
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Officials thankful for arrest-free G-8 weekend
Originally published May 22, 2012


By [url=http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/customer_service/email_reporter.htm?writer=Brian Englar]Brian Englar [/url]
News-Post Staff






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Photo by Sam Yu



Police gather Saturday in an alley between buildings on South Church Street in Thurmont before deploying at the Main Street intersection for the G-8 summit protest.






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The G-8 summit and accompanying demonstrations could not have gone more smoothly, according to local law enforcement officials, who credited police, residents and protesters for a virtually trouble-free weekend.
Thurmont Police Chief Greg Eyler said the number of protesters who showed up in town was much less than expected Friday, making for a calm day.
On Saturday, a sizable group of demonstrators consisted largely of a group of Ethiopian Americans protesting President Barack Obama's decision to meet with Ethiopian President Meles Zanawi, who they said is guilty of human rights violations.
Eyler said they were originally expecting three busloads of protesters, but five showed up. He said the demonstrators were passionate and vocal but peaceful.
A number of streets were closed to traffic to allow for the demonstrations.
The decision to send in officers in riot gear to form a line in front of protesters was made after some tried to venture outside the designated area, Eyler said. He said he wanted to keep them from marching through town as some wanted.
"We couldn't allow that to go through town," Eyler said. "There were just too many citizens out."
Eyler said the protesters were respectful of requests to remain in the designated area, and no arrests were made. He said he believes calling in the riot squad before the demonstrations began may have caused problems rather than prevent them.
Eyler also said Thurmont residents were respectful of the protesters and helped foster a peaceful environment.
"I thought they were wonderful," Eyler said.
Manpower costs
Eyler said he still hasn't added up the cost of the weekend for his department, but he estimated last week that it would be about $10,000. Town officials will try to recover the money from the federal government, Mayor Martin Burns said last week.
Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said his office is also still calculating costs but estimated they could reach $125,000 for manpower and equipment, as well as meals for law enforcement and dispatchers served at the Lewistown Volunteer Fire Department and at the Frederick County Law Enforcement Center.
"There was a lot going on," said Jenkins, who said his agency tried to reduce overtime by revising some schedules. Jenkins said he's hopeful that at least a portion of that money will be reimbursed.
Jenkins said he couldn't be more pleased with how the weekend went, which he attributed in large part to what he said was the professionalism of his deputies and officers from other agencies, including Maryland State Police and Thurmont Police.
"I'm proud of all the law enforcement in Frederick County," Jenkins said. "Number one, from a public safety standpoint, and also seeing to it that all those people could express themselves. I just look at Chicago, and I'm glad we didn't have any problems like that."
Demonstrations in Frederick were also not as large as expected, but Frederick Police Chief Kim Dine said he is glad his department was prepared for the worst.
Dine said Frederick police have had a good relationship with Occupy Frederick and didn't expect any problems from its members, but they weren't sure who else might show up, citing past G-8 demonstrations that have turned violent.
"I think we had an outstanding plan and our people did a great job," Dine said. "But it turned out to be a pretty low-key event. I'm certainly thankful things went the way they went."
Dine said there were no arrests related to the demonstrations.
He said he wouldn't have a handle on total costs for the weekend for a few weeks, but he is working with local officials on trying to get the money reimbursed.
"It's being worked on, on multiple levels," Dine said.




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18 comments






May 22, 2012 @ 05:31 AM: WilliamSartorialist

Thurmont can now have a big beer fest to give themselves a well-earned pat on the back!!!

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May 22, 2012 @ 07:28 AM: billrittel

Earlier, the FNP and others were saying they were trying to break through the lines and needed to call in more police. Now, " Eyler said the protesters were respectful of requests to remain in the designated area, and no arrests were made. He said he believes calling in the riot squad before the demonstrations began may have caused problems rather than prevent them. " Finally, they say it was the riot gear that probably caused more harm than good. Gee, who would've thought.

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May 22, 2012 @ 07:30 AM: jasonvarnadore

jayson54, "It was the imported African protesters who caused the only trouble that occurred." What kind of trouble are you talking about? From what I've just read the protesters did nothing wrong.

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May 22, 2012 @ 07:45 AM: micjest

How about the road painting on rte 77?? They should give them toothbrushes to scrub that crap off...& it was alot of crap!!!!!!!

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May 22, 2012 @ 07:52 AM: jayson54

jasonvarnadore, from Sunday's paper;"Before backup law enforcement arrived, the chanting crowd tried to push past the Thurmont Police barricade, Eyler said. Frederick County Sheriff's Office and Maryland State Police strike teams were called to the scene and helped keep the crowds out of the street and separated from onlooking residents." Granted, it wasn't anything major, but I would call the "redneck's" behavior better than that of trying to push through a police line.

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May 22, 2012 @ 08:07 AM: jasonvarnadore

I guess the Cops and the FNP had a change of heart.

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May 22, 2012 @ 08:07 AM: salitle

I commend all the different law enforcement agencies that worked together this past weekend. I was at the protest - the peaceful protest - and thought that it was such a great thing to see all the different groups working together. The protesters were respectful and informative and followed the guidelines set for them. It's amuses me that so many are not satisfied that the systems just worked. So many are digging for trouble that just wasn't there. I was proud to be a part of our small town on Saturday.

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May 22, 2012 @ 08:08 AM: frednecker01

What revenue? They came on buses, protested and left, no one spent any revenue in Thurmont.

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May 22, 2012 @ 08:08 AM: salitle

Oh, and micjest, the group that put the paint on the road on Thursday was back on Sunday to clean it up...just as promised!

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May 22, 2012 @ 08:18 AM: joelp77440

And to think "Little's Furniture" in Frederick boarded up their poor little windows. I will never shop there again.

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May 22, 2012 @ 08:18 AM: frednecker01

^and not one of those dignitaries even saw it, so again it was a big waste of time.

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May 22, 2012 @ 09:45 AM: frederickthegreat

ha it ended up being much ado about nothing

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May 22, 2012 @ 10:36 AM: fredneckian

Just one more example of how wasteful the government is. Now we are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars in security for a 2 day event where nothing happened. What would the cost have been if a true riot had broken out and the big boys would have had to have been called in? It must cost this country untold billions of dollars a year to keep Washington and the UN etc safe at this rate. Every example you see of any governmental activity is incredibly wasteful and exhorbitantly overpriced. I'd wager if we had politicians who were truly in it for the country's overall best interest at every level that we could cut spending and thus reduce taxes and fees by over 50% just due to waste and paranoia.

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May 22, 2012 @ 10:45 AM: millspj

WilliamSartorialist, didn't you know that Thurmont has a beer fest everyday? It's called being a Thurmont resident.

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May 22, 2012 @ 01:33 PM: Marc.Petitpierre

There was absolutely no need for the continued mass presence of all the law enforcement at the G-8. It only demonstrated that we truly live in a police state, and most of us don t even realize it. And now, they want us to pay for their mistake.

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May 22, 2012 @ 02:54 PM: deezilfit

this is exactly what ive been trying to tell you!!1 it wasnt necessary at all but it was a tricck used by chuck and the boys so they could reap some free money from the FEDS you know "SOCIALISM" the thing they claim to hate until they want in on it.The same reason that in the few days leading up to the summit chuck and roscoe started walking around with their hats in hand and the fnp printed how they wante dto recoup money for services EVENTHOUGH he SS and FEDS told them that their efforts were not needed but they saw that chicago was gettin 40 mill and they wanted in as well. and im sure if you dig deep enough im sure the 125,000 will dwindle down to about 5000.

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May 22, 2012 @ 02:55 PM: deezilfit

im also wondering how much blaine charged for his appearance fee!!!!

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May 22, 2012 @ 02:58 PM: fredneckian

Come on Deezil Republicans don't believe in socialisim. Except to certain industries like farmers. And Bankers. And GM and Chrysler. And to raise their kids. Wait maybe they do believe in socialism after all?

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