Fort Bend Co. law enforcement hoping for peaceful Inauguration Day, but taking precautions

By R. Hans Miller | News Editor
Posted 1/19/21

Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan held a press conference Monday afternoon in conjunction with other Fort Bend County law enforcement leaders, County Judge KP George and District Attorney Brian …

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Fort Bend Co. law enforcement hoping for peaceful Inauguration Day, but taking precautions

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Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan held a press conference Monday afternoon in conjunction with other Fort Bend County law enforcement leaders, County Judge KP George and District Attorney Brian Middleton to discuss the county’s preparations for Inauguration Day. Fagan said that, while no notable threats have been indicated for the county, he wished to reassure the public that law enforcement would be ready to preserve the peace and public safety.

“One of my primary goals as sheriff of Fort Bend County is to strengthen the relationship of the sheriff’s office with our law enforcement counterparts,” Fagan said. “To that end, we stand united before you today to show our alliance towards a common goal which is to ensure the safety of all Fort Bend County citizens.”

Fagan was joined by Katy Police Chief Noe Diaz, Fulshear Police Chief Kenny Seymour and Lieutenant Steve Holtz representing Fort Bend County Constable for Precinct 3 Chad Norvell’s office as well as several other Fort Bend County law enforcement agencies. Fagan said the law enforcement agencies present were monitoring for any public safety concerns that may arise locally after what had been witnessed in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 when a rally in support of President Donald Trump went awry and turned into a riot that ended in multiple deaths, including at least one Capitol Police officer.

At least five people were killed in what some lawmakers are calling an insurrection at the Capitol as Trump supporters sought to block the congressional validation of the Electoral College vote. One of them was Capitol police officer and U.S. Air National Guard veteran Brian Sicknick who had been on the Capitol police force since 2008, according to a report from USA Today. Sicknick was reportedly struck in the head with a fire extinguisher and later died from the resulting injuries.

Fagan emphasized that no threats had been verified in Fort Bend County, but that law enforcement was taking extra precautions to ensure that, should anything arise, law enforcement would be ready. He also said he wanted to ensure county residents felt safe and that law enforcement was prepared for any unforeseen events.

“It’s much better to be prepared for something to happen (than) to not be prepared if something were to happen. That’s why (Fort Bend law enforcement agencies) all got together to stand together in unity  to let everyone know that we are prepared,” Fagan said.

The rights of residents to protest as guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution would not be infringed by law enforcement, Fagan said. However, law enforcement agencies in the county would be prepared for any demonstrations that turned violent or unlawful.

When asked if it was known if anyone in Fort Bend County had participated in the events at the Capitol, Fagan said he had not heard of anything but that law enforcement was paying attention for any such information.

Middleton noted that any participation or legal issues related to the Capitol were under federal jurisdiction.

“We’ve seen enough and we’ve heard enough. We’ve got enough security bulletins from the federal government to know that we need to be prepared,” Middleton said. “This is about prevention and preparedness.”

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