Los Angeles County and two other county law enforcement departments said they are ready for the possibility of civil unrest and will respond accordingly, according to a Tuesday report.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s office and sheriffs from both Orange County and San Bernardino County are preparing for the potential of election-related unrest, as storefronts across Los Angeles are boarding up windows in anticipation of violence, Fox 11 reported.
Deputies in LA are taking 12-hour shifts, forming response teams, and focusing on high-end shopping districts as possible epicenters for unrest, according to the local outlet.
NEW/THREAD: LA County Sheriff @LACoSheriff tells me he will have a “zero tolerance” policy on any looting/violence this week. All patrols now on 12 hour shifts. 3 mobile field forces, SRT teams ready to deploy anywhere. Will be watching DTLA, WeHo, Beverly Hills, SM. @FOXLA
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 3, 2020
“An organized effort to create civil unrest, looting, arson, vandalism, everything we saw during the unrest at the end of May and beginning of June, that is always a concern and we’re prepared for that,” Villanueva told Fox 11.
“I think the group of people that is willing to do something stupid like start vandalizing and looting is not that big of a group, and we’re gonna be ready for them and we will take action immediately,” he continued.
Villanueva claimed he would be making the call to deploy the National Guard in the event that riots are unable to be quelled by his department alone, according to the local outlet.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said his office is also increasing shifts to 12 hours and bringing in extra personnel, he told Fox 11. The law enforcement boss further indicated that poll workers are being trained in de-escalation and deputies will be able to respond quickly to a voting location if needed, according to the local outlet.
“We have no information to suggest there will be any type of violence, any civil unrest, any anarchy, anything of that nature, but should somebody get out of line or should something occur, we have the staff ready to deal with it,” McMahon told Fox 11.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said he has approximately 800 deputies that could be mobilized if need be, according to the Los Angeles-based outlet.
“Peaceful free speech will always be supported, but acts that restrict anyone’s right to vote or cause violence and destruction will be addressed swiftly,” Barnes told Fox 11.
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