49 Austin police officers will help ensure the President’s inauguration
This is the fifth time Austin police officers have contributed to security at a President’s dedication ceremony.
Austin, Texas – – The Austin Police Department sent about 50 officers to assist during the president’s dedication ceremony in Washington, DC on Wednesday. The rest of the department will be on tactical alert in Austin in the event that security issues arise from local demonstrations.
As the 46th President of the United States officially takes his seat in the Oval Office, 49 Austin officers will assist the Washington Metropolitan Police and the National Guard.
“I think it is more important than ever that we contribute to efforts to protect our president,” said Joseph Chacon, deputy chief of the APD.
This is the fifth time Austin police officers have contributed to security at a President’s dedication ceremony. “Over the years we really feel that it is our responsibility to help ensure that, just like at a major event where we released the call, we are there to support our law enforcement partners,” said Chacon .
However, this year Austin Police will also have to prepare for potential problems at home.
“We sent a smaller contingent of officials to Washington DC to make sure we keep enough here so that we have everything we need here to make sure Austin is safe because that’s our top priority,” said Chacon.
Although APD said their communications with the FBI and the Texas Department of Public Security found no credible threats in the Austin area, it doesn’t mean the department is not preparing for security concerns. “The department is on tactical alert and will remain on tactical alert until further notice,” said Chacon.
“They are ready to respond in no time, with all the equipment they would need to get into a mobile field force scenario where crowd control may be required,” he added.
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Security precautions at the Texas Capitol prior to inauguration day
Several law enforcement agencies are working around the clock to prepare for any potential threat or disruption, and the Capitol building and grounds will remain closed to the public as a precaution.
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So far, according to the APD, there has been no indication that groups from outside the Austin area will appear at the state capitol on Wednesday.
Governor Greg Abbott said the DPS officers will be on the Capitol grounds to respond to any type of threat there. “I am confident that we will make it through Inauguration Day without incident in Austin, Texas or anywhere else in the state of Texas,” said Abbott.
DC Metro Police will pay for the APD to attend the president’s dedication ceremony.
The Austin Police will also be on standby at City Hall and APD Headquarters if demonstrations take place at these locations.