The Vancouver Police Department, along with other city resources, has been planning for this election week and will have an enhanced, visible presence in the community throughout election day and beyond
VANCOUVER – The city of Vancouver will be keeping preventative measures in place to protect the rights of voters to cast their ballots and to protect the community from potential political violence and damage surrounding the Nov. 3, 2020, election.
In a news release issued Tuesday, city of Vancouver officials stated “since the recent death of Kevin Peterson, Jr. following an officer-involved shooting involving deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, people have been gathering to demonstrate and express their concerns, as is their First Amendment right. Following a weekend of large gatherings in downtown, Vancouver, the Vancouver Police Department is continuing to conduct enhanced patrols around authorized ballot boxes within Vancouver through the Nov. 3 voting deadline to increase the safety of community members traveling to and from ballot drop locations, to deter potential voter intimidation and/or tampering with the ballot boxes, and to provide safety for the election officials collecting the ballots. Any incidents of voter intimidation or ballot box tampering should be reported by calling 3-1-1.’’
The Vancouver Police Department, along with other city resources, has been planning for this election week and will have an enhanced, visible presence in the community throughout election day and beyond. The police and fire departments are working together to monitor possible political unrest activity and are coordinating with regional agency partners to provide response support, if needed.
If demonstrations or civil unrest occur, the Vancouver Police Department will staff accordingly to respond with the goal of ensuring the ability of people to exercise their First Amendment rights while maintaining safety for all people and property in Vancouver.
“An historical election is upon us during an already eventful year,” said Vancouver Police Chief James McElvain, “If you choose to exercise your constitutional rights to assemble in public during this period of time, please do so in a safe and peaceful manner. Destruction and violence is not acceptable and serves no good purpose in a place we all call home.”
“This is a city and community where we respect and listen to one another and support our country’s democratic values and the sanctity of the voting box,” said Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, “I encourage everyone to care for our entire community and show kindness and respect to one another regardless of differing views.”
“We recognize that many in our community feel frustration and grief in the midst of the pandemic and political and social justice unrest,” said City Manager Eric Holmes. “For the safety of our community and our employees, we ask that peaceful, non-violent expression be observed.”
Information provided by city of Vancouver.