Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo credit /Getty Images
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Police forces all over the Tri-State area are preparing for possible armed protests at government buildings and other locations after the FBI warned it might happen at all 50 statehouses.
The FBI on Sunday warned nationwide armed protests may start later this week and extend until Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office.
The warning came just days after violent supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Building in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s victory.
Already, New York City’s police department is preparing for potential unrest by increasing security at many municipal buildings and boosting patrols at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state has received the FBI warning and he is in contact with State Police to ramp up security efforts.
In Albany, concrete barriers have been put in place around the statehouse and New York State Police reportedly began to increase patrols throughout the city.
FBI officials in Albany said they are not focusing on peaceful protesters, but rather “those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property.”
Long Island officials are also taking extra steps, depite Nassau County Executive Laura Curran saying there are no credible threats to any government buildings or other locations in the county.
They are not leaving anything up to chance and across the county, there will be increased patrols at government buildings, churches and hospitals, according to Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
“What’s going on is … these antigovernment type groups are using social media platforms to put out messages of an insurrection that we should do at a government building and our state capitals,” Ryder said. “This is no different than the game plan that terrorists use when they try to stoke those lone wolves and bring them to act out. We’re on top of that information.”
Curran says they want to ensure everyone is safe.
“Our number one concern at the local level – I’m not talking about politics, I’m not worrying about who you voted for – our number one concern is your safety,” the county executive said. “That will always be our number one concern, no matter what else is swirling around in the rest of the country.”
In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said the state will be ready for any insurrectionists that may be trying to target the state.
“Sufficed to say that any public building, any soft target as it were, is something that we’re looking very seriously at,” he said at a press conference Monday. “I don’t want you to think that when I things like ‘all steps are being taken,’ that does not mean that we’ve got our feet up thinking we’ve got this all in the back we take all this very, very seriously.”
He is concerned about the statehouse, and other sites, and is especially worried about counterprotests getting involved.
“I would ask you, even if your heart is 1000% in the right place: stay home,” the governor said.
Connecticut officials offered a similar sentiment with State Capitol Police stepping up security despite no specific threats targeting buildings in Hartford.
Connecticut’s public safety commissioner, state police, the Connecticut Intelligence Center and state Capitol Police have been receiving updates from the federal government about the situation. About 500 people protested last week at the state Capitol, which is closed to the public.
Meanwhile, all three states have sent some form of law enforcement agents to Washington, D.C. to provide security for Biden’s inauguration. The city is asking that people do not gathering to watch the inauguration live amid the pandemic.