Oregon State Police preparing for potential protests at Capitol

Oregon State Police says troopers are monitoring potential protests at the Oregon Capitol ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration day next week in Washington, D.C.

On Monday, the FBI said there is a potential for armed protests at state capitols across all 50 states leading up to Inauguration Day.

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney told KATU News on Monday that he is aware of credible threats in Salem. He would not elaborate.

"I take it very, very seriously, and I’ll be working with state police almost daily between now and those times to have the Legislature and people working there to be safe, as well as to keep the continuity of the government going," said Courtney.

Capt. Timothy Fox, Oregon State Police spokesperson, told KATU News troopers were unavailable for interviews Tuesday. In an email he said, "OSP is currently monitoring and assessing all information regarding potential protests. OSP is working with our local, state, and federal partners. OSP will prepare accordingly and be adequately resourced."

Lt. Treven Upkes, a spokesperson for the Salem Police Department, told KATU that officers are working with OSP for a response to possible protests.

There has been heavy security outside the Washington Capitol in Olympia this week. At least two people were arrested. The Washington legislative session began this week.

In Salem, a line of construction fencing surrounds the Capitol with a sign that says "Closed for construction." Otherwise, there is a row of concrete barriers blocking the driveway in front of the Capitol. Oregon's legislative session does not begin until next week.

KATU News asked for interviews with House or Senate Republican lawmakers on Tuesday. None of them replied.

Courtney said he believes OSP is taking any threats, "very, very, very seriously."

"They call me. I call them. They get back to me," said Courtney. "I have every faith that anything they think is critically important, they will call me at a moment's notice, regardless of the hour of the day."

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