HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Local, state and federal agencies are preparing for any potential protests that may make their way to the State Capitol ahead of Inauguration Day.
Trooper Josue Dorelus tells News 8, “The word overpreparation has been circulating a lot.”
You can already see beefed up security in Hartford. Hartford police and State police, the Connecticut National Guard, and the FBI are all working together to keep the Capitol building safe.
He continues to say, “We encourage you to exercise your rights but for those who do plan on creating some type of disturbance we will identify you, we will locate you and be sure to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
Aside from setting up barricades and making sure the grounds are prepared, law enforcement agencies are also collecting information and vetting any incoming social media content.
Trooper Dorelus said, “After witnessing the events that unfolded at the U.S. Capitol and learning about some of the planned demonstrations across all 50 states, law enforcement became extremely worried about the potential for violence here in our own state.”
In a statement, the FBI New Haven division says, “We are using all of our investigative resources, to include human source information, as well as advanced technical and scientific tools, to prevent violence at our State Capitol during upcoming scheduled protest.”
Trooper Dorelus says, “A lot of content has been pulled from social media it has made our jobs a little more difficult in terms of gathering information.”
Chief Luiz Casanova with the Connecticut State Capitol Police shared a message to anyone who may participate in possible protests, “My message to them is the American Constitution is crystal clear, folks have their right to assemble but it also indicates peacefully.”
Trooper Dorelus added that last year, there were about 90 protests at the state Capitol, and all of them ended peacefully. He’s hoping for the same results in the days ahead.
“For those coming out to protest and air their grievances we encourage them to do it in a safe and peaceful manner,” he said. “We do want to ensure that everyone has their First Amendment right.”
Police are asking for the public’s help. If you see anything suspicious around Hartford or notice any chatter online, call the tipline State police have set up; you’ll remain anonymous. Call 1-866-447-TIPS (8477). You can also email CTIC@ct.gov.
The heightened awareness will continue through Inauguration Day on Jan. 20 as agencies monitor any threats to our region.