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Sunday, January 17, 2021

A Message from Chief John Fitzgerald About Inauguration Security

Following the ugly violence at the Capitol on January 6, I understand that many residents are anxious about what might happen on Inauguration Day.  I think we all sense that, after watching Americans violently attack the seat of our democracy—and other Americans—we must not underestimate what some people might do based on their beliefs.

In order to provide you with some reassurance, I want to let you know what the Village Police Department has done and is doing to prepare for the upcoming week, and to suggest things that you might do to help keep yourself and our community safe.

Village Police Department leadership has been participating in national, regional and local conference calls beginning last week. Those calls will continue through Inauguration Day.  There is a robust communications network, and agencies will be sharing information in real time throughout the coming days.

Federal, state and county officials are monitoring internet chatter and are following up on leads.  Intelligence indicates there are threats focused on Washington, DC and on state capitals.  There are no specific threats to any other locations, but our federal partners have asked all law enforcement agencies to forward tips to them immediately.  

The Village Police Department is plugged into the larger law enforcement effort and will remain in frequent contact with other agencies as the week progresses.  The County Police will have several teams of officers on duty in DC and in Maryland along the DC line during the run-up to, and on, Inauguration Day.  There are specific plans in place, but those specifics are not for public release, of course.

The Village Police Department is working in coordination with the County Police to provide a full complement of officers locally.  We will have a full shift of Village officers working on Inauguration Day, and you might see County officers, as well.  Although violence coming into the Village is not likely, anything is certainly possible.  We will stay on top of the event as it unfolds, and we'll do our best to anticipate what might happen and to keep you informed as necessary. 

So, what can you do to keep yourself and your family safe, and to help us keep the community safe?  I suggest the following: