Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that there will be long-term additional security measures in place at the state Capitol in Olympia, even as the Washington National Guard begins to drawdown its presence that followed increased threats leading up to the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration. The continued actions will include increased Washington State Patrol presence and the restricted area on West Campus. People will be able to exercise their free speech outside the fence in non-restricted areas.
“I am pleased that the Washington National Guard in support of the Washington State Patrol successfully protected the Capitol Campus from potential civil unrest,” Inslee said. “While this current mission will be demobilized over the weekend, we are taking steps to ensure the long-term safety and security of the people who work doing the people’s business in Olympia.
“The Washington State Patrol and the Guard have served our state well in these dangerous and unprecedented times,” Inslee continued, “I am certain their presence and other security measures are among the primary reasons we have enjoyed relative calm for the past two weeks. I thank everyone who has served in this work for their service.”
WSP Chief John Batiste stated, “Like every other state Capitol, as well as our nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C., we have entered a new security environment that will require additional preparation and enhanced safety measures going forward. Our agency will be vigilant in that work.” He added, “On behalf of the men and women of the Washington State Patrol and all Washingtonians, we thank General Daugherty and his Washington National Guard troops for their courage and commitment during this historic time of unrest and uncertainty.”
The Washington National Guard is currently in the process of ending their current mission, which will end on Friday, Jan. 22.