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@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.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

Police vehicle damaged after collision (Photo Credit: Renton Police Department)
Renton Police still looking to arrest suspect after officer involved hit and run

RPD spokesperson said suspect fled on foot after causing officer’s injury.

A landslide in December 2019 created a crack in this Fall City road, allowing for a one lane entry and exit. Courtesy of King County Road Services
WA Legislature grapples with funding roads, bridges

Roads and bridges repair programs in King County are underfunded, and state… Continue reading

File photo
Proposed bill aims to trade handcuffs for help when it comes to drug use

Supreme Court decision to strike down drug possesion law leaves oppurtunity to shift paradigm

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
House passes bill to increase financial reporting, transparency by healthcare providers

Bill’s prime sponsor says it will help address healthcare equity and affordability.

“The Color of Flight,” designed and sculpted by Kirk Reese at Sunset Neighborhood Park (photo credit: Renton Municipal Arts Commission)
Renton Municipal Arts Commission is giving grants for community art projects

Grants will be awarded ranging from $500 to $10,000 in an effort to encourage community art.

Freshwater variety of kokanee salmon from Lake Sammamish. File photo
Encouraging numbers for kokanee salmon spawn count

Lake Sammamish kokanee aren’t out of the woods by any stretch, but… Continue reading

In this file photo, Tayshon Cottrell dons his graduation cap and gown, along with a face mask reading: “Wear it! Save America” at Todd Beamer High School’s virtual graduation walk recording on May 20, 2020, in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Law gives Washington high school seniors leeway to graduate

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that can waive some requirements for students who were on track before the pandemic.

Mercer Island School District first-graders returned to in-person classes on Jan. 19, 2021. Here, Northwood Elementary School students head into the building. Photo courtesy of the Mercer Island School District
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

Malden, after a wildfire burned down 80% of the town’s buildings in Eastern Washington. Courtesy photo
DNR commissioner seeks $125 million to fight wildfires

In Washington state last September, some 600,000 acres burned within 72 hours.

Most Read