State officials are mounting tight security and heavy law enforcement presence in Salem in preparation for the beginning of the 2021 Oregon Legislative session Monday and President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C.
Gov. Kate Brown has activate of members of the Oregon National Guard to assist Oregon State Police (OSP) with any potential upcoming civil unrest/protests, according to OSP Superintendent Terri Davie.
“The Oregon State Police will continue to take a neutral role in ensuring Oregonians exercise their First Amendment rights,” Davie said.
According to Davie, over the past seven months, OSP troopers have responded throughout Oregon to various protests, unlawful assemblies and riots.
"Our goals have always been to protect people, protect people’s rights and to protect property," Davie said. "The recent events at our nation's capitol building and at our own statehouse illustrate the need for law enforcement to be prepared and appropriately staffed for any large gatherings."
The Oregon Army National Guard will be deployed as necessary and the Guard's deployment locations will not be made public, according to Davie.
OSP and the ONG routinely work and train together in response to Oregon’s challenges, including civil unrest, human remain recovery in the recent wildfire response and safeguarding our communities in times of crisis.
“With the Oregon National Guard supplementing OSP ranks, we will be ready to ensure peaceful events and handle emergency situations,” Oregon State Police Captain Timothy Fox said.
Davie said OSP will continue to work with local, state and federal partners in planning for potential events at the Oregon State Capitol or any other jurisdiction in Oregon.
"Oregon State Police will continue to leverage their strong partnerships with local and federal law enforcement, in efforts to provide safety to legislators and employees conducting the people’s business in the Capitol," David said.
Last week, OSP and Salem Police made arrests and conducted enforcement during protest rallies at the state capitol building.
Hundreds of National Guard members are at the U.S. capitol complex to help local law enforcement deal with any new protest rallies and to be stationed ready to keep the Jan. 20 Biden inauguration safe.
On Jan. 6, national media reported President Donald Trump supporters and others stormed the U.S. Capitol, breaching police security and delaying the certification of Electoral College votes.
The chaos and disturbance played out over live televised media reports showing striking video and photos of law enforcement officers and security guards with guns drawn as the crowd moved into the chambers.
The latest count showed 100 arrests were made during the disturbance.
On Wednesday, Jan. 13, President Trump issued a statement that reads:
"In light of reports of more demonstrations I urge that there must be NO violence and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank you."