Local law enforcement preps for Inauguration Day
WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- As we approach Inauguration Day, law enforcement is on high alert, not just in Washington, DC, but across the country.
Federal, state and local law enforcement in Wisconsin are working together to be proactive and make sure the coming days stay peaceful even if there are protests.
“I’ve been in contact with the police department,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “Obviously they’re doing a lot of intelligence.”
Mayor Barrett says City Hall will remain open on Inauguration Day, though many people are working from home already because of the pandemic.
“We’re monitoring this very, very closely but we’re going to continue our operations,” Mayor Barrett said.
But while it may look like business as usual at City Hall, behind the scenes, law enforcement is ready for anything.
In a statement, the Milwaukee Police Department says they are not aware of any credible threats but are “preparing in the event of any potential threats.”
The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s office is also ready.
Sheriff Earnell Lucas says his department, along with other law enforcement, had calls with the FBI director and the special-agent-in-charge at the FBI Milwaukee field office.
He adds, they need the public’s help.
“We have taken steps and every precaution to secure our people and institutions, but we need you, the public, to ensure that Milwaukee County remains strong and safe,” Lucas said.
Members of the Wisconsin National Guard are also stepping up and heading to Washington, DC to help maintain peace.
“National Guard is supporting Secret Service and other civilian agencies that are responsible for the overall safety of the inauguration,” said Maj. Joe Trovato with the Wisconsin National Guard.
The FBI is also working with area law enforcement.
“While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is supporting our state, local and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve,” said Leonard Peace, public affairs officer with the FBI Milwaukee Division. “Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity. As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners. The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Our focus is not on peaceful protesters, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property.”