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Police lay out plans for Milo Yiannopoulos’ return to Cal Poly next week

Posted at 9:13 PM, Apr 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 00:13:45-04

Cal Poly University Police Department Chief George Hughes spoke to the Associated Students, Inc. Board of Directors Wednesday about how they’re preparing for controversial political commentator a speaking engagement on campus by Milo Yiannopoulos.

Chief Hughes says he is going to bring support from the 23 CSU campuses throughout the state and overtime costs will result from that travel.

"I want to do address some of the lessons learned from last year," Chief Hughes said. "The first one was, I had wished I was more transparent before Milo showed up on campus and I wish that I had prepared this campus for what to expect when I walked on campus that day."

"It was fences around the building, there was a large police presence, there was a SWAT team and it was 100 police officers. That was a surprise to a lot of people there was a good reason for everything."

Last year, $55,000-$65,000 was spent on security for Yiannopoulos, the chief said Wednesday.

"It cost a lot of money to provide the proper amount of security, to make sure we have a safe campus that day, and that is the cost of doing business in the environment that we are in right now."

"Let’s take look at Berkeley after Milo Yiannopoulos was here last year. Milo was here Jan 31st, February 1st to go to Berkeley. They did not do everything prepared proactively like we did. The campus literally burnt. People were hurt, people went to jail. For damage to property, it was triple the amount for the cost of that that we spent on security beforehand," The chief said. "So it’s like an insurance policy: we’ll pay several thousand dollars upfront so we’re not paying hundreds of thousand dollars down the road, past the litigation, because someone got hurt."

"It will be very similar to what you saw last year, very similar: a large amount of officers here on a contingency basis. I hope to not have to use them. What I’m doing is having contingency plans. I have to plan for the unknown of these things because the unknown is the X factor."

Chief Hughes also spoke about preparing for the potential of an active shooter situation.

"Which is why the SWAT team was here last year. I have to prepare for what might happen, not what I know will happen. That takes a lot of people and I hope to never have to use those people and I hope you never see them. I plan on having a little bit more than we did last time because of the current climate that we have."

The officers will be in place at several areas on campus, and if you see any up on rooftops, Chief Hughes says those officers are "spotters," not snipers. They’ll be looking for potential dangerous people on the ground and notifying nearby officers about potential threats.

No arrests were made during Yiannopoulos’ 2017 appearance and the demonstrations against him were peaceful.

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