City of Falls Church police do not anticipate any “direct threat” to the city or Northern Virginia as a whole in connection to today’s presidential inauguration, Chief of Police Mary Gavin told the city council during a virtual work session Tuesday night.
Even with no active threat, however, Gavin clarified that the police department is still taking precautions with potential threats stemming from the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in D.C.
“As a region we have worked each and every day, and every day of the week trying to fortify the Commonwealth,” Gavin said. “Every chief and sheriff have met face to face throughout the week on different aspects of the regional position and posture.”
Gavin also noted that there was “chatter and discussion” around Jan. 6 and in the following days from extremist groups about potentially disrupting transportation into the District and disrupting the inauguration.
She stated that she and other law enforcement officials in the region are working in collaboration with Arlington County and Virginia State Police to close roadways and enhance security at local airports. Each official is also receiving several intelligence briefings per day regarding safety measures related to the inauguration.
Gavin also said focal points of concern from intercepted chatter revolved around government facilities, including federal, state, and some local buildings. However, she clarified that there was nothing specifically mentioned and law enforcement has fortified traffic patterns.
The City of Falls Church Police Department is doubling the number of officers and sheriffs on the street and around city hall throughout the day and night on Wednesday.
“Each and every police department and sheriff’s office throughout this region has taken a posture of up staffing for [Wednesday],” Gavin said.
Gavin added that high-profile surveillance will be provided at the high school, hotels, shopping centers and special landmarks throughout the city. She also said there will be response teams ready in case of “any type of assaults, protests or any assemblies.”
She also said that while there has not been any specific chatter or threats to private businesses, there will be resources in the community to watch and secure the business district.
Photo via City of Falls Church Government/Facebook