PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -- Portland Fire & Rescue is preparing ahead of Election Day to help make sure the city doesn’t see a repeat of the violence in 2016.
“We’ve been thinking of strategies to try to mitigate some of those things that we saw, but at the end of the day, like I said, a lot of it is so dependent on the things that people cook up in their homes and how the election goes and what their feelings are at that particular hour or minute,” Lieutenant Damon Simmons, of Portland Fire & Rescue, said. “It just takes one person to make a really bad decision to turn something into chaos.”
Many people who regularly participate in the nightly demonstrations that have gone on for more than 120 days since May come prepared with gas masks, helmets and protective gear. However, it’s those that are unfamiliar with the high-intensity environment that worry Simmons.
“They get caught up in the moment and excited and then they find themselves stuck in those crowds and it can be difficult for some people who aren’t in those situations very often,” Simmons said.
If you plan to protest, Simmons said you need to come prepared and do so peacefully.
“Wear really comfortable shoes,” Simmons said. “Hydrate ahead of time if you’re going to be out and celebrating the result or protesting against the result.”
He said he knows that people will come out and wants everyone to be cautious and aware of their surroundings.