Santa Clara County forms task force to prevent Inauguration Day violence

​SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) -- Federal law enforcement aren't the only ones stepping up security ahead of next week's inauguration -- it's happening locally as well.

In the South Bay, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's office is assembling a special task force to keep the community safe.

"We're focusing on any kind of threats leading up into the inauguration and we know that there is planned activity," Sheriff Laurie Smith said.

Sheriff Smith did not reference any specific threats received thus far, but says there is reason to believe right wing extremists may be planning to make trouble beyond the Capitol up to and on Inauguration Day.

"We're concerned about the arming of individuals that we're all hearing about," she said. "About some kind of war that people are espousing."

Three deputies and a sergeant in the special operations unit now make up a newly formed task force that is monitoring internet and social media chatter for clues that may lead them to take action against individuals or groups threatening violence similar to what happened when a mob ransacked the Capitol last week in Washington.

"We're looking at the type of people that stormed the Capitol that were armed that want to really be aggressive with objecting to the change of leadership," Smith said.

The task force is working with the FBI and the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center as the Sheriff's office will also be involved in monitoring any public demonstrations taking place at government and other public institutions or other actions that put the community at risk.

"If we have any kind of threats, credible or not, if we think that there is a risk, if we receive even an inkling of some kind of threat or some kind of concern, we definitely will be providing that kind of action," Smith said.

Sheriff Smith is encouraging the public to get involved and reach out to the Sheriff's anonymous tip line at (408) 808-4431.

Latest Posts