LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Security is being enhanced nationwide at government buildings ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, including in downtown Los Angeles, following the assault on the U.S. Capitol earlier this month.
The deadly insurrection on Wednesday, Jan. 6 left the U.S. Capitol on lockdown, and now local buildings could see a similar fate of being locked down.READ MORE: OC Receives More Than 83,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses In Single Day
Jim McDonnell — the former L.A. County Sheriff, former Long Beach Police Chief, and second in command at the LAPD — said Inauguration Day is always a highly-secure event, but recent threats make this year’s ceremony unique.
“This is a very important day in American history and we have an obligation that it is as safe as possible for everybody. Not only in D.C., across the United States as well,” McDonnell said.
In Sacramento, the National Guard is surrounding the State Capitol, similar to other State Capitols around the country.
McDonnell says L.A. County has a Joint Regional Intelligence Center and a Joint Terrorism Task Force that’s operated by the FBI with partner agencies to monitor online chatter and share information.
So-called soft targets like water treatment plants, power grids and cell towers will be also fortified because of the disruption they’re capable of producing if they come under attack.READ MORE: Stretch Of 5 Freeway In Norwalk Area To Close During Construction
About 25,000 troops are protecting the nation’s Capitol, which is more than the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria combined.
U.S. Defense officials say they’re worried about an insider attack on Inauguration Day, which is why the FBI will be undertaking a massive vetting process, The Associated Press reported on Sunday.
It’s unclear exactly what kind of resources will be used to protect the U.S. Capitol on Inauguration Day given the potential violence that could unfold, but some leaders have been speaking out about preparation techniques.
“You saw it at the Capitol, when things jump off, you need to be ready to go and protect your people who are out there on the front line. Being assaulted by every kind of weapon can imagine,” McDonnell said.
Officials are asking Americans to stay put on Inauguration Day to prevent another deadly event like what took place during the Capitol attack on Jan. 6.
“If you can stay home and stay away from these locations, particularly if there’s violence occurring, that would be the biggest ask possible,” McDonnell said.MORE NEWS: People Making A Difference: Nonprofit Connects Artists With Those In Need
So far, the FBI says there has been no known or creditable threat to our seven local counties, but a 24-hour command post is in place.