Talks begin to “draw down” heavy security at Olympia state Capitol

VIDEO: Massive security presence in Olympia

OLYMPIA, Wash. — There is still a massive security presence in Olympia at the end of a peaceful Inauguration Day. Washington State Patrol (WSP) stated it believes the major response helped keep things quiet.

Now the talks are starting to clear out all the extra security.

“We are all hopeful that if we have a calm day today, we’ll be able to see a gradual drawdown over the next few days,” said Chris Loftis, spokesperson for the Washington State Patrol.

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Some who came to Olympia on Wednesday thought they would find trouble.

“I was expecting people to be jumping the fence, shootings,” said Kenny Thai, who came to the state Capitol building from Tacoma.

Instead, they only found quiet.

“Nothing us but us,” said Cassius Ladberg, also from Tacoma. “I guess the National Guard and police did their job,” he said.

Hundreds of troopers and guard members are still on campus, though mostly out of sight Wednesday. WSP also believes the law enforcement presence kept things calm.

“There has been no significant activity or anything like that we’ve been concerned about. We do think our security posture over the last week has contributed to that success,” said Sgt. Darren Wright with WSP.

The cost of that security since Jan. 6 is mounting. The extra resources were put in place after insurrection and violence in Washington, D.C., plus a storming of the governor’s mansion in Olympia.

In the last two weeks, WSP stated its security services have cost $1.6 million.

The Washington National Guard reported its bill will likely exceed that.

And about $30,000 was spent on fencing.

“How much money can you put on peace and calm?” Loftis said. “I think if we start thinking honestly about that, we’ll see the money spent is a pittance to the value of safety and security for our people, places and our democratic process,” Loftis said.

WSP is still investigating incidents that happened Jan. 6.

Wright stated troopers arrested 26-year-old Damon Huseman on Tuesday night for second-degree assault, felony harassment and criminal trespass.

“He was taken into custody without incident in Seattle with the assistance of SPD,” Wright said.