SALEM, OR (KPTV) — Law enforcement is prepared for “potential demonstrations and civil unrest” at the Oregon State Capitol in the week ahead.
The Salem Police Department released information Thursday that protests may take place over the weekend and next week, leading up the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack said, “We are closely communicating and coordinating with our partners to make sure we are prepared.”
Oregon State Police has jurisdiction and enforcement responsibility at the state Capitol.
OSP announced this week that they will utilize the Oregon National Guard, as needed, for protests at the Capitol.
The Salem Police Department has asked people, to the extent possible, to avoid the area of the state Capitol over the weekend and early next week due to possible “enforcement activities and disruptions to traffic flow.”
The FBI in Oregon is running a command post to collect information and coordinate with other law enforcement agencies about any potential threats.
In Portland, Police Chief Chuck Lovell said he is aware of “heightened concern in the community related to local reaction to the coming presidential inauguration.”
“This community is tired of the wanton destruction of public and private property and the violence and intimidation we’ve seen acted out in the name of protest or hate. This is criminal behavior and we are committed to holding those who perpetrate these acts accountable,” Lovell said.
However, Lovell added “there are no known specific threats to Portland” at this time.
“We have been planning for Inauguration Day, and the days leading up to it, with local and federal partners to ensure coordinated efforts to maintain peace. The Portland Police Bureau will do everything it can to respond as quickly as possible to reports of people committing criminal acts of intimidation, property destruction, and violence. We will make arrests and present the best possible cases to the District Attorney for prosecution consideration,” according to a statement from Lovell.
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