National Guard troops, pictured Jan. 11 at the state Capitol in Olympia, have been on standby in case of violent protests. (Photo by Roger Harnack, Cheney Free Press)

National Guard troops, pictured Jan. 11 at the state Capitol in Olympia, have been on standby in case of violent protests. (Photo by Roger Harnack, Cheney Free Press)

At the state Capitol, a quiet day amid heightened security

There were no protests or arrests as troopers patrolled and the National Guard assumed a lower profile.

OLYMPIA — Calm prevailed on the campus of the state Capitol on Wednesday (Jan. 20) as the inauguration of President Joe Biden proceeded in the nation’s capital.

There were no demonstrations and no arrests. Hundreds of Washington State Patrol troopers and Washington National Guard members remained on standby but were far less visible than in recent days, when they took up positions behind temporary fencing erected around the perimeter of the legislative building.

Security ramped up following the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. That same day a couple dozen protesters broke through a gate to reach the front porch of the residence of Gov. Jay Inslee before retreating.

Since then, it has been mostly quiet with no large protests. An Everett man was detained Jan. 11, the opening day of the legislative session, when he tried to walk past a security gate.

Federal authorities also warned of the potential for armed protests at state capitols and government buildings across the country on inauguration day.

“We have had no incidents the last couple days. We think our security posture over the last week has contributed to that success,” said Sgt. Darren Wright of the Washington State Patrol.

The tab for security is rapidly nearing $2 million for the Washington State Patrol alone.

Personnel costs totaled $1,507,450 between Jan. 6 and 19. Roughly $1 million of the total is for overtime, according to Chris Loftis, WSP’s director of communications.

In addition, the department has spent $100,707 for food as well as lodging, equipment and supplies the past two weeks.

“We know that’s a big dollar amount,” Loftis said. “This is money we had to spend. We feel the presence that you have seen … has contributed to the peace and calm you’ve seen the last 13 days.”

Costs for the state Department of Enterprise Services are $33,000 thus far, including $14,000 for the fencing.

It will be a couple weeks before the tab for the Washington National Guard is known, said Karina Shagren, spokeswoman for the Washington Military Department. But she said to expect the figure to be greater than the State Patrol personnel costs.

In the meantime, authorities said, there is no timeline for removing the fence and reducing law enforcement presence.

Inslee’s order activating the National Guard is set to expire at midnight Friday but could be extended.

If the calm of Wednesday continues, Loftis said, then hopefully “we will be able to announce soon a drawing down of resources.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

A flag raised at half-staff in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Federal Way surpasses 100 COVID-19 deaths

As of March 1, 102 virus-related deaths have been recorded.

Washington State Supreme Court Justices (back row, L-R) Raquel Montoya-Lewis, Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Mary I. Yu, G. Helen Whitener, (front row, L-R) Susan Owens, Charles W. Johnson, Steven C. Gonzalez, Barbara A. Madsen and Debra L. Stephens.
Justices strike down Washington state drug possession law

Police must stop arresting people for simple possession.

A Federal Way Public Schools bus leaves Decatur High School on March 13, unknowingly the last day students would be in school for the 2019-2020 school year. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
FWPS postpones in-person learning by one week

District to dedicate one week to transition activities, return to classrooms set for March 15.

Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell on Feb. 25.
FW mayor talks vaccinations, local economy, diversity in annual State of the City address

In stark contrast to last year’s 700-member live audience, Federal Way Mayor… Continue reading

File photo
Marijuana plants found in mobile home after fire | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log Feb. 17-21

In Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Inslee recently announced all counties will be staying in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for the next several weeks. Pictured: People enjoy outdoor dining last summer in downtown Kent. Courtesy photo
Inslee: All of Washington to stay in Phase 2 for a few weeks

The governor issued a weekslong pause on regions moving backward, but has yet to outline a Phase 3.

Entrance to the Tukwila Library branch of the King County Library System. File photo
King County libraries will reopen in some cities for in-person services

Fall City, Kent libraries among six selected for partial reopening.

In a zipper merge, cars continue in their lanes and then take turns at the point where the lanes meet. (Koenb via Wikimedia Commons)
Do Washington drivers need to learn the zipper merge?

Legislators propose requiring zipper merge instruction in drivers education and in license test.

File photo
Des Moines man charged after allegedly stealing car from Federal Way

The driver ran a red light and was confronted by police within minutes of stealing the car.

Most Read