Corvallis preparations for political unrest on election night

Corvallis Police Department is located on Fifth Street in Corvallis. 

Kevin Foster, News Contributor

With the presidential election today, the Corvallis business community faces little anxiety over growing political unrest, despite how cities around the country including Portland, are making precautions, leaving many questioning if Corvallis should do the same.

While in the realms of a businesses’ rights to close for any reason, many Corvallis businesses have not opted to do so. 

“You see how cities are boarding up windows,” said Simon Date, president of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce, “I don’t think we are gonna see any of that in Corvallis. There may be a few here and there, but as a business community I don’t think there’s a concern.” 

Most business owners around Corvallis are not seriously concerned about damage to their property. Corvallis is somewhat removed from the political hub of Portland, but there may be other reasons for the lack of precautions. 

“I think everybody’s pretty worn out with the election at this point,” Date said. 

The news cycle of political violence and unrest has proven to surely tire out the community, and local police departments are prepared if protests should break out. 

“I am aware that many people in our community feel a sense of anxiety over the election,” says Joel Goodwin, captain for the Corvallis Police Department. 

Yet, despite the anxiety looming over the community, there hasn’t been much direct action by businesses to board up their shops, showing community confidence.

Political unrest and violence has reached as far south as Salem, Ore., but Corvallis has remained relatively safe so far, likely due to its smaller size.

For businesses that become fearful, Date recommends the first step of calling the city. However, the majority of Corvallis businesses appear to have faith in the community to not turn violent. 

Still, “some folks . . . might take it in a different direction, and we’re prepared for that,” Goodwin said. 

Whether or not faith in the community is well founded amongst businesses, they can expect some protection from the police. 

“There’s a difference between what we expect, what we hope for, and what we’re prepared for,” Goodwin said. 

Both him and Date are confident in the community to uphold civility, no matter the outcome of the election. 

With the current state of mail in voting, it is likely that political unrest may need to be monitored throughout the lengthy election. While there are still potential risks ahead, Corvallis businesses can find some solace in the confidence of their law enforcement. 

“We do have plans and contingencies in place,” Goodwin said, but along with the community, there is hope that those plans will not come into play. 

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