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Local law enforcement to work together to ensure peace, safety during high-profile trials

Michael Slager (Source: Live 5) Michael Slager (Source: Live 5)
Dylann Roof  (Source: Live 5) Dylann Roof (Source: Live 5)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Lowcountry law enforcement officials say they want to keep everyone safe during the high-profile trials of Michael Slager and Dylann Roof.

Slager is the former North Charleston police officer facing a murder charge in the shooting death of motorist Walter Scott on April 4, 2015. Roof is accused in the shooting deaths of nine parishioners, including state Sen. and the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, on June 17, 2015.

Officials laid out the blueprint for safety precautions and extra security starting next week and remaining in effect, they expect, through the end of the year.

"We are in a position to make sure the justice system operates efficiently and appropriately, and at the same time, make sure that we keep the area around the courthouses as normal as possible," said Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen.

Earlier this week law enforcement agencies met with several community leaders to discuss the plan for these trials.

They have named the initiative "This is our home" and will use the hashtag #ThisIsOurHome on social media.

"They don't want properties damaged, they don't want anyone to get hurt," said Charleston County Assistant Sheriff Mitch Lucas. "They want to be able to protest and be involved in the proceedings." 

Authorities said the Charleston County Emergency Operations Center at the Gaillard will be up and running starting at 7 a.m. on Oct. 31, the day Slager's state trial is set to begin. Local, state and federal agency first responders will work together.

Agencies have created a safety zone around the courthouses where law enforcement will be visible. The zone is from Queen to Tradd Street, and King to Meeting Street.

Mount Pleasant Police will have extra coverage in Charleston and will take over all bridges.

Police do not plan on closing any streets or sidewalks because they say their goal is to keep traffic operating as normally as possible.

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