Locals form group to protect Paso Robles from destructive riots
–On Monday, a group of locals came together to help protect Paso Robles businesses in the event protests turn in to destructive riots. Yesterday, a peaceful protest and march on Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo were followed up by vandals who broke windows in downtown SLO.
Within less than 24 hours the Facebook group Protect Paso had over 1,600 members. The group is a “network of patriots that are willing to stand up to rioters should it occur in Paso Robles, to protect men and women in blue, our local businesses, and property,” said group administrator Brandon Stier.
“We all have a deep connection to this city, its citizens, and the police officers,” he said. “I will personally stand armed to protect them and local businesses. I’m asking those that wish to do that same to prepare yourselves to do so as well.”
On the group’s thread, a contractor offered to help businesses board up their windows at no charge, and a moving company offered to help move goods out of stores to keep them safe.
Paso Robles Police Chief Ty Lewis joined the group and wrote: “As your police chief I can’t stress enough that you defer to us to ensure public safety for our community. If you have direct knowledge that there is a planned or immediate threat to Paso Robles please call the PRPD, (805) 237-6464, and share your information immediately. While well-intentioned please be mindful that this message board is creating anxiety for many in the community.”
“I’ve been flooded with messages about this forum and its implications,” the police chief said. “Rest assured your police department is prepared and stands ready to address any public safety needs. We can get through this if we remain united as a community and stay calm. I have been in regular communication with our local police chiefs and the Sheriff. We will have as many resources as we need should they be required.”
Stier offered his thanks to the police chief. “Thank you, Chief Lewis, as always your lead is always paramount,” he said. “We support you, your officers, your staff, and your dispatchers. This group was created to act as an aid to our business owners, the citizens, and support for our officers. While I don’t see us turning into a LA situation, I also didn’t think we would witness what happened in SM or even SLO. Just know we have your back and will always comply with your orders. You know Paso, we are passionate, protective, and proud.”