PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police and National Guard troops will stay armed and ready through President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration despite no mass protests on capitol buildings in the tri-state area Sunday.
The threat is not over as state capitals and Washington, D.C. remain on high alert, bracing for possible chaos ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration. Armed protestors took up positions in Ohio, Michigan and a handful of states on Sunday, and those were small and peaceful.READ MORE: Villanova University Reports Male Student Allegedly Sexually Assaulted 4 Female Students In Residence Halls
Here at home, Harrisburg, Trenton, and Dover were all quiet, but law enforcement officials say they’re remaining vigilant and not taking any chances.
Eyewitness News noticed a few businesses in Northeast Philadelphia decided to keep their windows and doors boarded up to prepare for any potential trouble but concerns about large-scale protests this weekend did not materialize.
There are no protest-related incidents to report in Philadelphia nor in any of the tri-state capitols this weekend, and there were plenty of boots on the ground and on standby to keep it that way.
Law enforcement in major cities like Philadelphia and state capitols have been on heightened alert as the FBI received information about possible armed protests outside of the statehouses across the country this weekend.
“We don’t want to see a repeat of what happened at the U.S. Capitol and we’ve asked all hands to be on deck for Sunday,” Mayor Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton) said. “We’re working with all levels of law enforcement. We just want to make sure that our buildings and particularly the neighborhoods and the people and residents don’t feel threatened in any way.”
Gusciora essentially shut down downtown Trenton and blanketed the area with police. Fortunately, all was quiet on Sunday.
“We just hope that it does remain safe, that if there is any protests, that they do it peacefully and at the end of the day, we respect the American election system,” Gusciora said.
In Dover, Chopper 3 captured three demonstrators with American flags on a march.
At Pennsylvania’s capitol complex in Harrisburg, much of the same.READ MORE: New Jersey Easing Restrictions On Wedding Reception Capacity
In Harrisburg, barricades, National Guard troops, state troopers, and police officers surrounded the capitol complex in anticipation of crowds that never showed up.
Still, officials aren’t letting their guards down just days away from Biden’s inauguration.
“Right now, it’s a chess game, and we’re in it for the long haul,” Harrisburg Police Commissioner Thomas Carter said.
Joe Sullivan, retired deputy commissioner and former chief of homeland security for the Philadelphia Police Department, says the capitol riots show that overreacting is preferable to underestimating potential threats.
“There are people looking to take advantage of the unrest that is going on right now,” Sullivan said. “It’s better to have more people working and more locations covered than less. You can always ramp it down. But as you saw at the Capitol, it takes a long time, and once a crisis occurs to ramp it up.”
The city of Philadelphia is adhering to that advice. The city’s emergency operations center was in light activation all weekend in case anything did occur.
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