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State of emergency declared in preparation of Unite the Right anniversary

Gov. Northam, Charlottesville announced the state of emergency at 3 p.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – A state of emergency has been declared in Charlottesville as the city prepares for events surrounding the anniversary of the Unite the Right rally. 

The state of emergency was declared at 3 p.m. Wednesday by Gov. Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville. 

"I am urging Virginians to make alternative plans to engaging with planned demonstrations of hate, should those arise," said Northam.

Last year's Unite the Right rally resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, as well as Virginia State Police troopers Lt. H. Jay Cullen, III and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. 

According to a release from the governor's office, Northam and the city declared the state of emergency to enhance planning and cooperative response efforts that have been in development since March. 

A state of emergency allows state agencies to operate outside their scope of normal operations to ensure that all resources and help are provided as quickly as possible. 

“We have learned many lessons from the tragic events of Aug. 12, 2017," said Mike Murphy, Charlottesville’s interim city manager. "For the anniversary of that difficult August weekend which resulted in three lost lives, the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the University of Virginia are working closely with law enforcement and public safety agencies from around Virginia to plan for potential events and to keep our city safe from violence."