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.
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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Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.
There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.
All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.
🗓 All weekend
Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities
All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park
This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.
6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.
10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park
Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.
Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.
11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway