Local law enforcement takes steps to ensure a safe Inauguration Day

Fresno city leaders are working with state and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure everyone's safety.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Given the unrest we saw at the nation's Capitol last week and the pandemic, this year it will be an inauguration like we've never seen.

The event may be clear across the country, but Fresno city leaders are working with state and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure everyone's safety.

Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are preparing for another momentous occasion.

"30 years from now they'll look back on this time as being truly historic as to whether or not America, the oldest democracy in the world, was able to put our differences aside," says Congressman Jim Costa.

Costa was seen in Associated Press photo after he dropped to the floor of the House chamber as rioters stormed the Capitol building. They were moments he says were eye-opening and historic for all the wrong reasons.

"To see that Confederate flag, which is a symbol of slavery, a symbol of division, paraded in the rotunda really was so disheartening."

But he says the violence won't stop him from attending a 6th inauguration ceremony.

President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration will have a theme of "America United" and that's exactly what Congressman Costa hopes to see both in DC and the Valley.

"The hallmark of America, the beacon of democracy, and the rights we all cherish together are the common bonds that are far stronger than what differences we may have and we need to remember that," he says.

Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama says he's been working closely with the department's state and federal partners.

"We're coming up with a good plan, a citywide plan, to address any potential threats. We don't believe anything is going to happen here in Fresno but if it does we're going to be ready for it," he says.

Without revealing too many details, he says steps are being taken to ensure everyone's safety.

"There's going to be higher visibility. There's going to be some areas there are more police officers, you're just not going to know they're there," he says.

City Hall is on the same page.

"We know exactly who's a potential threat locally and they've been in communication with the FBI," says Fresno City Council president Miguel Arias.
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