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Arlington officials gearing up for potential election disruptions

Briefing to County Board gives outlines, but not specifics

The specifics for public consumption are – not surprisingly – left a little hazy, but Arlington public-safety officials say they are taking steps to ensure election season is not interrupted for one reason or another.

“I think we are in a really good position,” said Will Flagler, the county government’s Department of Public-Safety Communications and Emergency Management, during a briefing to County Board members on May 21.

“We have a robust relationship with the elections office,” Flagler said. His department has been conducting tabletop exercises with various leaders in county departments to consider a variety of disruptive scenarios.

Among law-enforcement leaders in the Washington region, “this is a consistent topic,” Police Chief Andy Penn told County Board members.

The goal of regional gatherings, he said, is to “make sure we all know . . . what each other are doing.”

Planning efforts go all the way up to the top of local governments’ food chains.

“We are already meeting regionally,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said. “The pace [of those meetings] may pick up.”