Police gear up for board meeting, possible protest

August 10, 2010 4:12:22 AM PDT
The Raleigh Police Department is preparing for today's Wake County Board of Education meeting and another round of possible protests.

The last protest at the headquarters building on Wake Forest Road attracted a large crowd and made national headlines. It's a situation board members don't want to repeat, but additional officers are scheduled to work security, just in case.

Organizers called last month's protest non-violent but it became chaotic. Among those arrested were NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber and several supporters.

Barber and supporters were protesting their opposition to Wake County's community schools plan, which will put an end to bussing some children out of their neighborhoods to other schools in the name of diversity.

After Barber's arrest, he made it clear that he stands by his actions saying, "As long as you fight dignity with love and justice and stand for what's right, it is not detrimental to the cause."

At today's meeting, the board will consider job cuts in the Transportation Department. Cuts will help offset the budget shortfall. The final state budget reduce the transportation budget by $1.8 million.

Extra security and personnel for the board meeting comes with a price, adding on to a bill that is already hefty due to July's incident.

The police department spent $14,000 for additional personnel at the July 20 meeting that ended with arrests. The school system said it spent $2,197 for security on that day.

The Raleigh Police Department also has installed its own video camera in the board room to monitor activity.

It is not clear how many protestors or if any will be present Tuesday, but authorities will be prepared.

The meeting begins at 1 p.m.

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