West Chester keeping curfew for full 30-day period after last week’s protest

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Protesters take knee during protest in West Chester on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

West Chester Twp. trustees took a lengthy look at how the protest rally last week was handled and decided to keep the 30-day emergency curfew intact so they don’t have to “scramble around” if protesters return, they said.

Police Chief Joel Herzog briefed the trustees Tuesday on the peaceful protest a week ago and asked that the curfew remain intact for the entire 30 days. He stressed the curfew never had to be enforced on June 2 when about 200 people gathered at the clock tower square.

“We have to see what tonight holds, what tomorrow holds, we don’t know, what if all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Hey let’s go back to West Chester but this time let’s tear it up, let’s show ‘em we mean business,’” Herzog said. “I would hate to have to then scramble again, that’s almost exactly what it was like scrambling. When you have a protest coming or a political rally we know weeks ahead, days ahead, we knew an hour-and-a-half ahead.”

The trustees swiftly called an emergency session last Tuesday when word was received protesters from Cincinnati were expected to join a protest at the West Chester Clock Tower.

The curfew is from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m and is in place for 30 days. However the township can amend it on a daily basis as necessary.

“Think of it this way, it’s a light switch, the default position of this switch for a curfew is off, only with watchfulness with risk assessment do we need to turn it on and if we do the very next day we look at it,” Trustee Mark Welch said. “It’s only where people would naturally congregate that you would need something like this, I wouldn’t think there’d be roving bands of rioters going throughout West Chester.”