CHICAGO (CBS) — An Associated Press alert late Sunday said defense officials fear an inside attack might be possible at the inauguration this week and will be vetting all National Guard troops.Chicago Weather: Winter Weather Advisories In Effect; Snow Arrives For Monday Morning Commute
As CBS 2’s Steven Graves reported, a countdown to Inauguration Day was under way Sunday as cities and state capitals were on alert. The FBI has warned of the prospect of more violent protesters.
In Chicago, officials say there are no known threats. The same is true in Springfield, where the presence of the Illinois National Guard seemed to keep things peaceful.
To ensure that, Illinois State Capitol grounds were on lockdown this weekend. Streets were closed and armored trucks were out.
A total of 250 National Guardsmen stood by in support of capitol and county police.
“With the National Guard supporting law enforcement, it has been a key factor to probably the reduced amount of protests,” said Illinois National Guard Maj. Gen. Rich Neeley.
Gov. JB Pritzker deployed the Guard in light of an FBI warning of possible armed protest at all 50 state capitol buildings around the nation.
“Save our State” demonstrations were also planned and held in Springfield this weekend. About a dozen people showed up, but nothing to consider a threat.
In Lansing, Michigan, about 100 protesters came out – some of them armed. But they remained peaceful.
As in Illinois, the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis barely had much action.READ MORE: Illinois State Departments, Driver Service Facilities Reopen Monday Weeks After COVID Surge
“Our citizens should really feel secure both here in the state, and I think in the nation’s capital,” Neeley said.
The deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol from supporters of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Jan. 6 sparked the nationwide response.
As all eyes are on safety in Washington, D.C. for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, the chief of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department is deploying every available resource.
“The tightest security that I’ve ever seen, absolutely,” said MPD Acting Chief Robert Contee.
Thousands of supporting officers will come in from all over the country. Troops and a barbed-wire fencing perimeter will also aid in security.
Larger cities in the U.S. are also on guard for potential unrest. Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management said it is not expecting any protest activity leading up to Wednesday – but it is prepared to deploy any safeguards if needed.
And come Inauguration Day, the city’s OEMC said it will be on heightened alert.
The OEMC released the following statement on Friday:
“The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) will activate the City of Chicago’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Wednesday, January 20 in order to coordinate the City’s public safety response to the events surrounding the presidential inauguration as needed. OEMC along with the Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department and the City’s infrastructure departments are prepared to take protective action and will continue to monitor the situation daily. Any adjustments will be made as warranted.
“At this time, OEMC is not aware of any actionable activity being planned in Chicago. We anticipate the City of Chicago will remain peaceful. However, OEMC is prepared to mobilize assets to ensure the safety of residents, neighborhood commercial corridors and critical businesses, in the event of any incidents.
“OEMC would like to remind residents that if you see something, please call 9-1-1 to report any suspicious activity. Residents can also receive Notify Chicago emergency alerts by subscribing to Chicago’s text or email alert system at NotifyChicago.org and businesses can opt-in to receive emergency alerts by texting CHIBIZ to 6-7-2-8-3.”
The National Guard is prepared to stay at the state Capitol past this Wednesday.
Tight security in Chicago, Springfield, and beyond ahead of Inauguration Day.MORE NEWS: Police Issue Multiple Alerts Involving Robberies, Burglaries, Carjackings Across The City
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