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Police Chief Posts Message To Community On Facebook
Oakdale Police Chief Scott Heller posted a message on the department’s Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon indicating the department is prepared for a planned protest in front of the Bianchi Community Center scheduled for Wednesday morning, June 3. Leader File Photo

Oakdale Police Chief Scott Heller took to social media on Tuesday to update the community on the planned protest scheduled at the Oakdale Town Plaza in front of the Bianchi Community Center on Wednesday.

“I have heard from many of you about tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) demonstration. I want to dispel any rumors and keep lines of communication open with our community,” Heller wrote late Tuesday afternoon.

The protest in connection with the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis is one of many now occurring across the country … it is planned for 10 a.m. June 3.

“Based on the information we have; we believe this will be a peaceful protest. Our department is continually monitoring and assessing the event. We support the right to free speech and will provide a safe environment for everyone’s voices to be heard,” the chief added. “I also want to assure our community that we are ready and prepared for any unforeseen circumstances or any last-minute changes. I am fully confident that we have the necessary resources to protect our community.”

The Police Department’s Facebook page post by the chief went on to say: “Many of you have asked what can you do? You can continue with your usual plans for the day, be it going to work or outside with your family. What I do ask ... is that you help us keep the peace. This is a difficult time for our community and our country. Oakdale is a tight-knit community. We have met challenges in the past and will get through this – together.”

The department will continue to provide updates on its social media page, officials said.

In talking with The Leader, Heller added that there have been stepped up patrols in the city since the weekend, when protests and demonstrations began surfacing around the Bay Area and several Central Valley locations.

“We will have a presence in the plaza during the event,” Heller explained. “We want to get the message out, we’re confident we’re prepared. We also have the benefit of working regionally with other law enforcement partners.”