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Arizona DPS will lead local security for President Trump’s visit to Phoenix

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – When President Donald Trump visits Phoenix on Wednesday, the Arizona Department of Public Safety will be on the grounds of Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum leading state and local security efforts.

“Our job is to make sure everything is done peacefully,” DPS Director Col. Frank Milstead told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

The coliseum sits on the Arizona State Fairgrounds at 19th Avenue and McDowell Road. State property means state agency oversight but crowd control and security will be a joint effort with Phoenix Police and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

Police will patrol the streets leading to the Coliseum and county deputies will be available for holding and booking anyone who is arrested.

Trump last visited the Valley in October 2018, stopping at Luke Air Force Base near Glendale, and a rally for then-Senate candidate Martha McSally at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Before that, Trump held a rally in downtown Phoenix that ended with protesters throwing rocks and bottles at police officers, who in turn sent tear gas, flash-bangs and pepper spray into the crowd.

A free speech area will be set up away from the fairgrounds, Milstead said.

“We’re agnostic. We don’t care what your message is. We don’t want problems, we don’t want fights and confrontations between groups,” he said, adding protesters “get to convey their message without fear of retaliation or being hurt.”

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