Law enforcement agencies, including Maryville Public Safety, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Nodaway County Sheriff's Department and the Northwest Missouri State University Police Department, are working to prepare a coordinated response to a protest rally scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, outside the Nodaway County courthouse.
The event is the result of a widely reported Kansas City Star investigation into alleged sexual assaults committed during a house party attended by Maryville High school students in January 2012.
Maryville Public Safety Director Keith Wood said in a prepared statement that an estimated 2,000 people are expected to show up for the rally, which is being organized by the Internet "hacktivist" organization Anonymous.
"We feel it is important to provide information to you to ensure a safe event," Wood stated. "Our primary unified objective will be to serve you as a business owner in the city of Maryville as well as the event participants.
"Some plans to create a secure environment will create a significant inconvenience, and we apologize in advance. However, please understand that we are taking precautionary measures in your best interest."
The release stated that parking on the square will be prohibited beginning Tuesday afternoon, a restriction that will continue for the duration of the event.
Vehicular access to the square will be banned beginning at 1:30 p.m., and various adjoining blocks may be opened or closed as circumstances dictate.
In addition, Wood urged downtown property owners to secure their buildings in the event of any perceived threats from the crowd. He added that law enforcement officers from multiple agencies will be deployed in and around the square as needed and will respond to citizen requests for assistance.
Anyone with questions should call Maryville Public Safety at (660) 562-3209.