OTAY MESA, Calif. (KGTV) - A "temporary area restrictions" ban has been issued ahead of President Donald Trump's scheduled visit to Otay Mesa this month.
The San Diego Sheriff's Department requested the ban in anticipation of possible demonstrations surrounding the president's visit to view prototypes for his long-promised border wall.
"It has been widely advertised that there will be a Presidential visit to San Diego during the second week of March. This visit may prompt individuals and groups with contrasting opinions to gather in the area near the Border Wall Prototype Construction in Otay Mesa," an SDSO release said.
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The restrictions, in place from 9 a.m. March 9 to 9 a.m. March 16, ban the presence of a variety of items that could be used as a weapon during a fight or riot, according to SDSO.
The order bans "firearms, knives, daggers, clubs, pepper spray, mace, axes, picks, axe and pick handles, explosives, slingshots, bricks, rocks, baseball bats, shields, ice picks,fireworks, Tasers, bear spray, poles, sticks, dowels, boards (including, but not limited to when used for flags, signs and banners), glass bottles or containers, and any items generally considered as an implement of riot that can be used as a weapon for example chains or hose."
Those items will be restricted from the east side of Enrico Fermi Drive from Airway Road to Via de la Amistad, Enrico Fermi Place, Airway Rd., Siempre Viva Rd., the public road from Airway Rd. to Siempre Viva Rd., and Via de la Amistad east of Enrico Fermi Dr.
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Sheriff's deputies will make anyone in possession of those items return them to their vehicles or dispose of them prior to entering the restricted area.
Retired law enforcement professional and security expert Wayne Spees told 10News it appears SDSO is preparing for attendees looking to do more than just exercise their right to protest.
"This doesn’t mean there has been a specific threat, but more of a precautionary measure. Specifically, someone could use the distraction of a large crowd to instigate violence. Local law enforcement’s main priority is public safety," Spees said. "They will want to give people the right to exercise free speech in addition to making sure it is done safely and lawfully."
Spees added that none of the restricted items are "required for people to voice their opinion."
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Several areas will be restricted to traffic as well.
No parking zones will be issued for the east side of Enrico Fermi Drive from Airway Rd. to Via De La Amistad, the north and south sides of Airway Rd., east of Enrico Fermi Dr. to Kellianne Way, Enrico Fermi Place from Enrico Fermi Dr. to Kellianne Way, and Siempre Viva Rd. east of Enrico Fermi Dr.
Traffic will be outright closed at Siempre Viva Rd. east of the CHP Inspection Facility driveway, Kellianne Way to Siempre Viva Rd., and Enrico Fermi Place from Enrico Fermi Dr. to Kellianne Way.