D.C. Mayor Calls for Increased Security Ahead of Inauguration
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In an effort to prevent future attacks on the Capitol, the Mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, is increasing security in and around the city.
In a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, Bowser called for specific steps to be taken, including: an extension of the special security period surrounding the inauguration, the declaration of a pre-disaster zone and increased coordination between federal law enforcement agencies to secure federal buildings while maintaining the ability for D.C. police to respond to the city’s other needs.
The statement called the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol an “unprecedented terrorist attack” and labeled the measures outlined in Bowser’s letter “essential to demonstrating our collective resolve in ensuring the Constitutional transition of power and our nation’s capital in the day’s leading up to it.”
In a tweet, Bowser provided an update following the Jan. 6 insurgence citing an, “immediate threat.” Bowser detailed pre-emergency disaster planning for the District of Columbia.
According to Bowser, the detailed pre-emergency planning will take place on Jan. 11 and remain in place until Jan. 24.
In a live update, Bowser requested to deny applications of public gatherings in the D.C. area and participate virtually in the Inauguration events. Bowser advised residents living in and around the area to opt-in for text updates at 888777.
“First Amendment protests have turned violent. Many persons came to the District armed and for the purpose of engaging in violence and destruction and have engaged in violence and destruction.
Today’s events and the reasonable apprehension of an ongoing public emergency represent an immediate threat to the health, safety, and welfare of District residents that requires emergency protective actions,” Office of the Mayor said.
Bowser issued a statement Jan. 3, advising residents to avoid the downtown area Tuesday or Wednesday, and to not engage with demonstrators.
In addition, Bowser issued a statement reminding residents of D.C. of their open carry laws.
“Members of the public and anyone attending the events are reminded that District law prohibits anyone from carrying a firearm within 1,000 feet of any First Amendment activity,” the statement read.
“Under federal law, it is illegal to possess firearms on the US Capitol grounds and on National Park Service areas, such as Freedom Plaza, the Ellipse, and the National Mall.”
Anyone coming into D.C. with firearms are prohibited from open carrying.
Residents in the D.C. area are now being encouraged to sign up for important safety alerts. Residents and commuters are encouraged to register for important alerts from the District by signing up for AlertDC at alertdc.dc.gov.