Vermont’s capital city will have a greater police presence should any protests become violent. This, after the FBI put statehouses and capital buildings on alert.
Vermont State Police spokesperson Adam Silverman says there are no reports of threats directed specifically at Vermont. But to ensure safety, VSP will be providing extra security.
“We don’t really know if it’s going to be a protest, it is going to be an attempt to take the State House, is it just going to be people holding signs…there’s really no indication of what this might be,” said Montpelier City Manager William Fraser.
“We preparing for the worse and hoping for the best,” added Montpelier Mayor Anne Watson.
Both Fraser and Watson have spent the last couple of days communicating the city’s safety plans with the public.
“We could close State Street depending on whether that needed. We’ve always been in tough with some area neighborhoods around the Capitol,” said Watson.
She says City Hall and the Montpelier School district will work remotely on Wednesday, inauguration day. Businesses were also informed of the city’s plans in a virtual meeting this week. So far, no stores have felt compelled to board up or close.
“There are not any reports of credible, specific threats or protests directed at Vermont. However…it’s important for us to prepare for any eventualities,” said Adam Silverman, Vermont State Police Spokesperson.
He says this type of security isn’t unprecedented, just heightened given the current political climate
“Just in the interest of personal responsibility and public safety, I think it really important for people to think about whether this week and next week is really the best time to exercise those rights, and ultimately that’s a decision made up to each person,” said Silverman.
Fraser says the state police plans to be in contact with the Montpelier police for the next several days for added safety and protection.
In the meantime, Silverman encourages Vermonters that if they see something, say something. Those reports can be made to your local police department, state police, or made anonymously online.