There will be more police officers on Arlington’s streets on Inauguration Day and the days leading up to it.
Some officers will be easily spotted, said acting police chief Charles “Andy” Penn. Others, not so much.
“There will definitely be an increased police presence throughout Arlington,” Penn said in an interview with ARLnow. “Some visible, some not visible.”
ACPD “will deploy increased police resources,” but there are “no known threats to Arlington County as this time,” the department noted in a press release Thursday.
The current focus is on the public safety and protection of Arlington residents, Penn says. He didn’t comment on whether ACPD has received any mutual aid requests from D.C. police or the federal government as of yet, but did say the police department hasn’t agreed to anything.
“At this point, we’ve not committed to any mutual aid requests outside of… the Commonwealth,” he said.
Prior to the U.S. Capitol riots, ACPD did receive and agree to mutual aid requests from D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department.
Arlington police officers were seen defending the U.S. Capitol from pro-Trump rioters and insurrectionists in a video from Jan 6. They helped to replace “hurt and tired D.C. officers on the front lines,” according to a new Washington Post account of the chaos.
As previously reported, no ACPD officers were seriously injured and Penn confirmed that this remains the case.
Penn says that the department had a “significant number” of officers assisting MPD over three days last week, but none are deployed in D.C. currently.
Two U.S. Capitol Police officers and one Anne Arundel County officer are currently under investigation for alleged actions during the insurrection. Penn says no such investigations are taking place in regards to Arlington officers.
“I am not aware of any allegation that any members of this agency were involved in any unlawful behavior, he says. “And if we become aware, it’s certainly something we would investigate.”
Penn reiterated that as inaugural preparations are underway, the situation remains “fluid” and plans are subject to change. They’ve had staff assigned to inauguration efforts for weeks now, he says, but the events of the last ten days have changed some previous plans.
Penn added that the county is in constant contact with regional, state, and federal agencies and Arlington is committed to sharing both intelligence and resources with those partners.
“Our goal, collectively, is to make sure that we’re ensuring the safety of this region and doing everything proactively that we can to be prepared for that, have good response plans, and have appropriate numbers of staff,” he says.”
That could mean road closures. As of right now, no road closures are planned but discussions are underway about the potential necessity of doing that.
Same for potentially implementing a curfew, like last Wednesday.
“I think the curfew would depend on the situation at the time. There has been some minimal conversation about that, but there’s no plan to do that at this point,” Penn says.
Travel options Arlington and the District will be limited between. D.C. has announced road closures and Metro has announced numerous downtown Metro closures. Heeding the advice of local officials, Arlington Democrats have arranged special inauguration events in Arlington, in lieu of heading to the District.
ACPD is encouraging anyone who spots suspicious activity on Inauguration Day or in the days leading up to it, particularly in areas where crowds gather — “shopping centers, restaurant districts, religious services, and public transportation hubs to name a few” — to report it immediately.
“The more we work collectively as a community, the safer we’re going to be,” Penn said. “We’re always better when we’re working as a large team in the Arlington community.”
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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.
Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.
About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.
The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village