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(Bob Daemmrich)

The Texas Department of Public Safety abruptly closed the Texas Capitol on Friday through Inauguration Day.

The Austin Police Department reports no known threats to the Austin area ahead of Inauguration Day on Wednesday, but remains on tactical alert following the deadly, pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.


"We're not really seeing a lot out there with regards to rival groups coming out, but we're certainly prepared for that," Assistant Chief Joseph Chacon said Tuesday.

As a precaution, the department is on tactical alert, meaning officers of all ranks report to duty in uniform and are ready to deploy out into the community if needed.

DPS troops lined the Texas Capitol Jan. 7 after pro-Trump protesters infiltrated the U.S. Capitol. (Bob Daemmrich)


APD has also sent a contingent of 49 officers to Washington D.C. to assist with Inauguration Day security. This is the fifth inauguration the department has done so, although it sent fewer officers this year due to concerns about possible unrest in Austin.

"With the events that we just saw on Jan. 6 in our U.S. Capitol, I think it's more important than ever that we contribute to the effort to keep our president safe," Chacon said.

Last week, Council Member Alison Alter urged APD Chief Brian Manley to denounce the riot and launch an investigation into whether any APD employees had participated, according to local reports. (An 18-year veteran of the Houston Police Department is under federal investigation after participating.)

APD is not actively monitoring its officers or their social media profiles, Chacon said, and has not received any indications that they need to be. "They know what the rules are, and they know what they have to be doing to remain professional," he added.

APD is not the only law enforcement agency preparing for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, which will take place on the day after the Texas state holiday honoring the Confederacy.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has deployed additional officers to the Texas Capitol, whose grounds it abruptly closed on Friday through Wednesday.

DPS "is aware of armed protests planned at the Texas State Capitol this week and violent extremists who may seek to exploit constitutionally protected events to conduct criminal acts," Director Steven McCraw said in a recent statement.

Federal law enforcement is also at work. The San Antonio branch of the FBI said its "efforts are focusing on identifying, investigating and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity" in a statement shared with Austonia. The U.S. Attorneys representing the four districts in Texas also announced their intent to prosecute any violations of federal law committed at the Texas Capitol or elsewhere.

Dozens of armed gun rights advocates gathered outside of the Texas Capitol on Sunday, although protestors reportedly said the event had nothing to do with Inauguration Day.

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