By Debra Moore
When California Highway Patrol (CHP) Commissioner Amanda Ray placed all CHP personnel on tactical alert in advance of today’s inauguration, it included officers in the Quincy Area office.
In total there are 12 local officers assigned to protecting the state capitol in Sacramento. Sgt. Chuck Brothers said that four members of a special response team as well as eight others are expected to be in the city until at least Thursday night.
Officer Seth Preston is one of those officers. During an interview today, he said that they arrived on the capitol grounds at 5 a.m. and will be on duty until 7 p.m. tonight.
“We’re going out; working on a line and protecting the capitol,” he said. So far, it has been peaceful.
In addition to their presence in Sacramento, the CHP also stationed a unit outside of the Plumas County courthouse. Brothers explained that though it is a county building, it is home to the state’s Superior Court offices, and as such falls under those buildings cited for protection.
“Commander Egide met with the DA and the judge, and we agreed to offer some help,” Brothers said. “We didn’t expect anything, but we wanted to make sure that we were available.”
When the CHP calls for a tactical alert, Brothers said it means “all hands are on deck for 12.5-hour shifts. All days off are cancelled.”
It’s uncertain how long the tactical alert will be in effect and Brothers said if it continues, the officers who remain in Plumas County would switch positions with those in Sacramento.
In her alert, CHP Commissioner Ray said in part: “Due to the potential for civil unrest related to the 2021 Presidential Inauguration, I have placed uniformed CHP personnel on tactical alert for an indefinite period. This allows for the maximization of resources to protect public safety as well as state buildings and infrastructure. The CHP will continue to monitor the situation and plan our resources accordingly.
“For many months, the CHP has worked closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure the outcome of the election will be respected and that any protests which may occur are free from violence. The CHP maintains strong relationships with our security and intelligence partners around the country and is continually evaluating possible emerging threats to the state. As such, the CHP is prepared to respond to any potential threats which may arise statewide.”