Bay Area prepares for civil unrest on Election Day

Bay Area

VALLEJO, Calif. (KRON) — In the East Bay, cities are preparing for potential civil unrest on Election Day.

On Monday, the city of Vallejo will open an emergency operations center ahead of the presidential election.

“It never hurts to be prepared for any potential incident,” Vallejo Fire Department Spokesperson Kevin Brown said.

The Vallejo police and fire departments will coordinate together.

The EOC will be located at a fire station in town.

A smaller, secondary operations center will also open up at police headquarters.

“We don’t have any intel that leads us to believe that there are any threats here in the city of Vallejo,” Brown said. “The purpose for opening the eoc is purely precautionary in abundance of caution.”

The police department will have a mobile field force — which means a team of officers — on standby, ready to deploy at a moments notice.

Brown says they will staff an extra battalion chief and engine to respond to a potential increase in emergency calls for service.

“In any other year, that would simply be, ‘sure of course, have your protest — be peaceful.’ This year, we had the added level of coronavirus-19 to acknowledge as well,” Brown said. “So, we encourage our residents to protest peacefully, but do that extra step of social distance. Wear a mask. Bring a bottle of hand sanitizer with you, of course.”

The Oakland Police Department has also increased staffing to address any safety concerns.

Officers will stage at various locations throughout the day to allow for safe spaces for people to peacefully demonstrate.

The Berkeley Police Department says it will have extra officers working election night on overtime.

They also alerted residents about several activities that are considered to be felonies on Election Day.

Vandalism of polling places and ballot boxes, bringing a gun to a polling place and any sort of ‘corruption of the voting process,’ will not be tolerated.

Officers will be staging at different locations throughout the day to allow for safe and peaceful demonstrations.

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