Local law enforcement prepares for ‘anything’ on Election Day

Voting during a pandemic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Local law enforcement agencies said they’re prepared for the possibility of violence on election day.

Deputy Chief of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, David Agee, said the Sheriff’s Office has heard about the threats of trouble at the national level, but said so far, there haven’t been any credible threats at the local level. He said voters can rest assured officers will be around if anything happens.

“We are prepared for anything, but we expect a peaceful voting day,” Agee said.

He said the sheriff’s office will be covering more than 170 polling sites making sure voters can cast ballots in peace.

“Deputies will be assigned a sector or a general area of several polling places together. If they are needed, they will respond to a specific polling place,” Agee said.

It’s typically poll workers who are the first line of defense in case of disruption among voters. Election officials in other parts of the country have said they will be adding guards. However, that won’t be the case in Jefferson County.

“There will not be a deputy at every polling location,” Agee said. “The only thing that we’re expecting is long lines.”

Some local businesses are already anticipating unrest on election day and in the aftermath boarding up windows and doors.

Deputy Chief Agee said those business have the right to use their judgement in that regard, and while this is a highly contested election, he believes people here will remain civil, and the governor agrees.

“Look, Alabamians are patriots. We are God-fearing patriots here in Alabama and we’ll just go to the polls and vote and act like the patriots that we are,” said Gov. Kay Ivey.

The Mayor’s Office has also released a statement regarding safety on Election Day saying the city’s public safety departments have worked to ensure Birmingham has the appropriate plans in place to respond, if needed, to any concerns in our community.

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