I want to assure each of you that we are prepared for tomorrow’s federally-permitted Confederate Square Group event on National Park property in downtown Hot Springs. In light of recent events that have transpired across the nation, the City of Hot Springs is taking additional steps to ensure public safety. Over the last several days, our city has been working with local, state and federal authorities, including the Hot Springs Police Department, Garland County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police and the National Park Service to develop a comprehensive event response plan. Collectively, they have taken the necessary steps to offer resources and support as needed. I have also been in direct contact with Governor Hutchinson’s office and will continue to keep them informed.
Additionally, to protect private property that could be affected, barriers have been placed in the downtown area near a statue of an unnamed Confederate soldier. As an additional security measure, the city has activated its Emergency Operations Center to monitor developments throughout the day. My staff and I will observe the event and work alongside the police department to provide regular updates throughout the day to you as well as state and federal authorities. Public safety is our foremost priority. Today, I am confident that working together with our partners, Hot Springs will facilitate a peaceful assembly of American citizens. No measure of violence will be tolerated.
As Arkansas’ number one tourism destination, the City of Hot Springs is filled with welcoming people who will not let the events of tomorrow change the heart of our community. While we welcome all to our city, all are expected to conduct themselves peaceably.