CINCINNATI — In the wake of last week's violent occupation of Capitol Hill by a crowd protesting the certification of Joe Biden as president-elect, law enforcement across the country is on high alert as Inauguration Day draws closer, including the Cincinnati Police Department.
The FBI this week warned local jurisdictions of armed protests planned between now and Jan. 20 in Washington, D.C., and outside state government buildings in all 50 states.
While there is no known threat of violence in Cincinnati, CPD Lt. Steve Saunders said the department is monitoring the situation closely.
"You have to stay on top of it; you have to monitor things constantly," Saunders said. "We have our standard protocols when it comes to civil disturbance, and we have teams of officers that can respond to those things very rapidly."
Saunders said the department has not planned to pull additional officers to patrol City Hall or other city buildings, but roughly 40 officers will travel to Washington to assist in security measures there. Saunders said that was the plan even before the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.
"We've been planning this for months. The Metropolitan Police Department reaches out to us always, every year, before an inauguration for staffing for security," Saunders said.
With an armed march planned in Columbus this weekend, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he has activated nearly 600 members of the National Guard and will deploy them as needed to cities across the state over the next 10 days.
"We saw what happened at the U.S. Capitol, and we're very concerned," DeWine said. "People have the right to protest. They do not have the right to be destructive."