Vermont law enforcement preparing for possible armed protest after FBI warning

Local News

The FBI has warned state and local officials around the country that armed protests are being planned for Sunday, as well as for inauguration day, January 20.

Michael Schirling, Vermont’s public safety commissioner, says state officials are not aware of any threats to Montpelier or other parts of the state, but they are preparing in light of the FBI’s warning.

“We’ll be prepared with a presence and prepared to respond to a variety of eventualities,” Schirling said. “We’re still gathering information and trying to ascertain to what extent we might see that or some other kind of protest.

“At no other time has it been as important to see something, say something.”

Schirling said while the agency would not release the exact details of security plans to the public, Vermont lawmakers will be briefed before to the weekend. The Montpelier Police Department has also taken steps to provide proper staff.

“We’ve gone through an elevated posture regarding our time off because these occurrences would be happening in our jurisdiction,” said Chief Brian Peete.

Schirling says state leaders are still trying to identify every Vermonter who rode to the nation’s capitol by bus last week, but he’s aware conspiracy theorists and participants of militia groups exist in all states. In the coming days, he reminds Vermonters to speak up if they notice something amiss.

“Whether that’s on social media or you’re talking to someone or seeing something,” he said. “It’s vitally important to report those even if they seem small so we can try to weave information together and create a picture by piecing together the puzzle pieces.”

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