OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Capitol Campus in Olympia is heavily guarded and will remain so through at least the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday. There are 600 Washington National Guard troops protecting the state Capitol.
The Washington State Patrol (WSP) was bracing for large demonstrations at the Capitol Sunday, but less than a handful of demonstrators showed up and things remained peaceful.
During a press conference Monday morning, WSP Sgt. Darren Wright said there weren’t any significant incidents to report from over the weekend and there have been no arrests made on the Capitol Campus since last week.
“We believe that the resources that we’ve brought in and the preparations that we have made through our command staff and our incident command team, all the way down through the troopers and National Guard soldiers that are standing the line and making sure that the Democratic process does continue on uninterrupted, and that we were able to protect the building and the people in there doing their job inside that building,” said Wright.
Curt Boyle, director of the Washington State Fusion Center, said the center “is not currently aware of any credible, substantiated threats targeting Washington state” leading up to Inauguration Day.
"Our mid-afternoon intelligence review indicates that the calm we have enjoyed today was shared in the other 49 state capitols as well," Chris Loftis, communications director for WSP, said during a Sunday update. "As has been the case for the past several days, we currently have no explicit threats of disruptive action in the state."
"However, we remain in an elevated preparedness status as the lack of specific threat does not preclude the presence of possible danger," added Loftis.
The FBI has warned all 50 states to be prepared for demonstrations and possible violence through the presidential inauguration, including planned armed protests. Loftis said Washington is an open-carry state, meaning armed protests aren't uncommon.
Most of the guard troops in Olympia are armed with shields and batons. The Washington Military Department said a second unit of guardsmen with weapons will be held in reserve in case they are needed.
"My two focus words for the day are CALM and HOPE," said Loftis in an afternoon update Sunday. "Let us all hope the calm of the day stays with us in the days ahead, and in the days beyond, let calm be our guide as we work toward a more hopeful and healthy future."
The WSP, which is responsible for security at the Capitol, has also brought in extra troopers from around the state, but won’t say how many.
The WSP said it is not tracking any specific threats to the Capitol. However, Loftis said there's an "abundance of uncertainty across the country."
Another 400 citizen-soldiers from Washington will take military transports and join thousands of others from around the nation in providing security at the US. Capitol in Washington, D.C., following the riots on Jan. 6.