Law enforcement leaders across Los Angeles County are beefing up patrols and are on high alert for any threat that may arise ahead of the inauguration Wednesday of President-elect Joe Biden.
“Right now there is no credible threat,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a news briefing on Tuesday with LAPD Chief Michel Moore, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Kristi Johnson, the FBI’s assistant director in charge in L.A. “Our mission is to act as if there was one — we are prepared.”
The Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department, which together police most of L.A. County, will increase the number of uniformed deputies and officers on the streets and transit systems, Villanueva and Moore said. Bomb-sniffing dogs will also be out in force, while detectives and others not typically assigned to patrol will be available to respond to any disturbances.
Officials said that 200 National Guard troops are stationed nearby and that the U.S. Postal Service will temporarily remove several mailboxes in key locations in the area.
“We have no plans or desire to deploy these troops, but they are ready if needed,” Garcetti said. “I want to be very clear. If you are planning violence here in Los Angeles, you will be stopped. You will be prosecuted and you will pay the price.”
Moore said there are three demonstrations planned for Wednesday, including at MacArthur Park and at City Hall. “All three of them are expected to be peaceful,” Moore said.
The increased security comes after the deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. More than 100 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the violent incursion, and scores more are under investigation, according to federal authorities.