PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As Inauguration Day approaches, the U.S. Capitol and statehouses across the country are bracing themselves for more potential violence from supporters of President Donald Trump. Heading into the weekend, cities and states across the nation are on high alert for the potential for politically-motivated protests. Law enforcement officials in the Delaware Valley say they’re prepared.
Conversations picked up online about plans for multiple armed protests are the source of FBI concern. They’re warning local authorities that extremists and militias may be planning another assault on the U.S. Capitol or other state capitols in the country.READ MORE: Villanova University Reports Male Student Allegedly Sexually Assaulted 4 Female Students In Residence Halls
In Philadelphia, the city activated its emergency operations center on Saturday, while police have stepped up patrols.
“The city activated the emergency operations center to monitor activity here in Philadelphia,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.
The FBI is focused on gathering intelligence on potential threats and will maintain heightened security through Inauguration Day.
“I do feel like something about to happen, maybe not here but somewhere else with the inauguration coming up and everything like that so I feel like having the police out will help protect everything,” Zach Feinberg of Old City said.
In preparation for possible protests on Sunday, New Jersey State Police is working with local, federal, and state law enforcement partners, including the FBI and New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness to assist with public safety at the state capital.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered state employees to work remotely on Wednesday.
“There are real threats put up against us that are pretty significant. Again, more akin to what I would see when I was working in counterterrorism,” New Jersey Rep. Andy Kim said. “Sunday, there’s this threat that is trying to mobilize one of the largest armed efforts.”
Trenton’s police department is working with federal and state agencies to ensure the capitol building remains secure.
“As many as it takes and there’s even the National Guard is on standby,” Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said. “We’re going to do everything we can to protect persons and property in the City of Trenton and make sure we don’t have a repeat of what happened at the U.S. Capitol.”READ MORE: New Jersey Easing Restrictions On Wedding Reception Capacity
People should expect possible detours in New Jersey, particularly in the area of the state capitol building in Trenton.
In Delaware, Gov. John Carney activated the National Guard to assist state and local authorities surrounding President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Carney said the order went into effect immediately and expires on Jan. 22, the day after the inauguration.
“Members of the Delaware National Guard have continued to step up — time and time again — to support their communities when that support is needed most,” Carney said. “This time is no different. I want to thank all of our Delaware guardsmen and guardswomen for their selfless service to our state and country.”
Archdiocese of Philadelphia high schools will have an all virtual learning day on Wednesday as “a matter of precaution.” The decision affects only high schools, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said Friday.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Friday about 1,000 additional National Guard members have been activated to Washington, D.C. for assistance, bringing the total to 2,000.
“As the number of Guard forces from around the country continues to build in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania is now sending an additional 1,000 of its Guard members to help ensure the safe and peaceful inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden,” Wolf said. “By having one of the largest Guards in the nation, the Pennsylvania Guard has the trained resources needed to respond to concurrent missions within our commonwealth, across our nation and overseas. I am thankful for their selfless service, as well as the sacrifices of our service members’ families and their employers, especially during these unprecedented times in our nation’s history.”
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