By Karen Morfitt
DENVER (CBS4) – Protesters hit the streets ahead of republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Friday arrival in Denver.
Organizer Zoey Williams and dozens of others stood outside the Colorado Convention Center Thursday evening.
“We will not be silent,” she said.
Trump is set to speak at this year’s Western Conservative Summit being held at the convention center through the weekend.
Jeff Hunt is the director of the Centennial Institute, the group hosting this year’s event.
Hunt says more than 4,000 people are expected to attend.
“This is a little bit bigger, everything is a little bit bigger this year,” Hunt said, adding that security is a top priority.
“We want people to be able to express their opinions, that’s important, but we want to be able to do so in a way that are attendees can be safe,” he said.
Violent scenes between supporters and anti-Trump demonstrators have plagued the presumptive nominee’s rallies across the country for months, and that chaos has not gone unnoticed.
Denver police spokesperson Doug Schepman said they are aware of the concerns, which are a factor in their response.
“We have certainly taken into account that there have been issues at similar events in other cities, and we have incorporated that into our safety plan,” he said.
The time and extra resources that have been put into ensuring public safety is enough for some visitors who say they’re looking forward to the event and all that comes with it.
“If Trump’s going to be here that’s actually a positive thing for our family, I think it’s going to be fun,” said one man outside the convention center.
Traffic will be another big concern downtown on Friday. Stout Street will be shut down from Speer Boulevard to 14th Avenue, and police say anyone headed downtown should anticipate a slow drive.
Karen Morfitt Joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around metro Denver. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.