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Washtenaw County Law Enforcement Community Releases Public Safety Statement Amid National Tension

Jerry Clayton
Michigan Sheriffs' Association

A week has passed since pro-Trump extremists attacked the U.S. Capitol.  In the meantime, more protests are planned, including one at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing.  Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss local efforts to assure public safety. 

Washtenaw County Community Leaders Joint Statement on Community Safety Leading Up To and After The Presidential Inauguration

Leading up to this past November’s 2020 Presidential Election there were justifiable community concerns regarding the protection of the right to vote, intimidation, and potential unrest in the aftermath of the election.  During that time, we communicated our commitment to supporting the democratic process and the orderly, just, and peaceful administration of civil society.

Throughout the entire electoral process, we have been and will remain in close contact with our state and federal law enforcement partners.  Together, we have been monitoring the activities related to the attack on the Capitol building in Washington D.C. and the subsequent fallout leading to the upcoming Presidential Inauguration.

While we have not received any information informing us of imminent threat within Washtenaw County, we want to assure each of you that we are working with each other and our federal and state colleagues, doing everything we can to plan for and ensure the safety of everyone in our community.

During these tense and uncertain times, we affirm our commitment to work tirelessly toward ensuring public safety. However, we need your partnership and commitment to the following;

  • Business leaders should ensure that you review your safety and emergency response procedures for all staff that are providing onsite services (e.g., knowledge of emergency egress locations, response to suspicious packages, reporting of threatening behavior/communications, etc.). 
  • Everyone should maintain a level of situational awareness and if you believe that your personal safety or the safety of others is compromised by the actions of others please notify your local law enforcement agency by dialing 911. 

Finally, we recognize that we have some difficult days ahead of us.  However, we also see this as an opportunity to reimagine our relationship and interactions with each other, even those with differing opinions.  We ask each of you to help us set the example as to the appropriate way to meet the challenge, by remaining calm and courteous to each other.  While it is okay to disagree, we believe that we are stronger as a community when we focus on commonalities and the things that bring us together.  Understanding and respecting one another will serve to maintain peace and create public safety.  

Please contact your local law enforcement agency with any questions regarding this release.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at

Nearly three-quarters of David Fair’s 20+ years in radio has been at WEMU. Since 1994, he has been on the air at 5am each weekday on 89.1 FM as the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition. Over the years, Fair has had the opportunity to interview nationally and internationally known politicians, activists and celebrities. But he feels the most important features and interviews have been with those who live and work here at home. He believes his professional passions and desires fit perfectly into WEMU’s commitment to serving a local audience.
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