DAYTON, Oh. — The city of Dayton battened down the hatches Saturday for a rally event held by the Ku Klux Klan.
After the events of Charlottesville, city officials in Dayton weren't taking any chances as the notorious hate group exercised their first amendment rights. Officers and security aid came in from Cincinnati, Columbus and even Toledo as counter-protesters poured into Dayton.
The city of Dayton blocked streets with large trucks Saturday and brought in officers from other jurisdictions to keep protesters separated from members of an obscure Klan group called the Honorable Sacred Knights.
The group obtained a permit for the rally months ago. City officials and community leaders organized an effort called Dayton United Against Hate.
In the end, only 9 members of the Klan showed up, and could barely be seen through the double chain-link fence and wall of police. Protesters rallied around the fence, chanting anti-hate rhetoric and waving signs at the members inside.
Although the event ended without a hitch, or even a single arrest, Dayton itself didn't get through as unscathed as things may have looked.
Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said the city estimated it spent about $650,000 on security costs for the event.
City officials said many of the security measures implemented Saturday were intended specifically to keep Dayton residents safe with concealed carry and open carry of weapons.
Dickstein said the city estimated around $250,000 was spent on personnel costs and $400,000 on materials needed for the rally.
“We have very little way to recapture that spent money,” Dickstein said.
Richard Biehl, Dayton police chief, said he was “very pleased” with security Saturday.
“This clearly was a safety challenge for our city and our community,” he said.
Biehl said his department did not make any arrests, and no use of force or injuries were reported.