WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Proactive steps were taken on Monday to protect Courthouse Square in Warren ahead of what is expected to be a peaceful protest around 6 p.m. at Perkins Park.
According to Warren’s safety service director Eddie Colbert, a curfew for pedestrians and all traffic throughout the city will begin at 8:30 p.m. Monday and end 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Erring on the side of caution, city employees removed any loose stones, decorative rocks or other items not secured around the downtown area, along with any other property that could possibly be destroyed or cause damage.
The move put some business owners at ease, like Nate Barker and Gabe Gouvas, co-owners of West & Main restaurant.
“It’s extremely reassuring, you know? I think they know what to expect and they’re gonna be on top of it and I’m very positive about this evening,” Barker said.
“I’m concerned just because I’m a brand new business owner, but I think the people of Warren will stay classy and we can prove to even America that, you know, we could do this a good way,” Gouvas said.
Former city councilman Greg Bartholomew has had his business, All American Cards & Comics, on the Square for more than two decades. He said he isn’t expecting any problems Monday night.
“I know the pulse of the community rather well and I see the people who are in charge of running the protest tonight are community leaders who, you know, hopefully will keep the peace and I believe they will,” Bartholomew said.