Law Enforcement, Maryland National Guard address security at Capitol as warning dates approach
Both the Maryland Capitol Police and the National Guard addressed the subject of securing the Maryland Capitol, as the dates that the FBI announced may be most prone to attacks from violent domestic extremist occurring approach, starting Saturday, January 16. In intelligence bulletins to law enforcement attained by the New York Times, the FBI stated in the near term, extremists may use events around the country between January 16 and 20 to perpetrate violence. The capitol's police released a statement to Arundel Journal via email explaining some of local law enforcement’s outlook toward keeping the Capitol and its campus secure. They indicated security efforts are being coordinated between law enforcement agencies to keep the capitol-area secure, including new measures such as added police presence, additional ID verification for building entry, and limiting access to other buildings. The statement said the measures will “ensure the protection” of both property and people.” It reads: “The Maryland Capitol Police in conjunction with the Maryland State Police and other supporting law enforcement agencies continue to coordinate our joint law enforcement efforts around the Annapolis Government Campus. New or enhanced security procedures around the Annapolis Government Campus include a series of actions to leverage existing security infrastructure upgrades including additional police officers and support security personnel, increased identification procedures for building entry and limiting proximity access to all General Services’ buildings. These actions are being taken as a precaution for the safety of all persons doing business on state property and will ensure the protection of state employees, our buildings and grounds, and visitors to our Annapolis complex.” buildings” The Maryland National Guard is doing double-duty to help secure both Washington D.C. for the 59th Presidential inauguration on Wednesday January 20 and ready to support the Maryland state capital if needed. A National Guard story posted Friday, January 15, included remarks by Major General Timothy E. Gowen, adjutant general for Maryland regarding any potential Annapolis mission. “At the governor’s orders, the MDNG has activated a stand-by force to support the civilian authorities responsible for maintaining peace and order in the state capital,” Gowen said. “To be clear, no troops are being deployed at this time, but are standing ready to respond in the event they are needed. The Maryland Guard respects every American’s right to protest peacefully. Our first priority is to protect people and property.” Army Brigadier General Janeen Birckhead, assistant adjutant general for Maryland, is in command of 3,500 troops in Washington D.C. lending support to law enforcement in the federal capital. That task force is part of at least 21, 000 National Guard members from Washington D.C., Arizona Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico,, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state. A spokesperson for the Anne Arundel County Police Department confirmed their organization would also be available to offer support for any security issues. “If you were around when things occurred in Baltimore (civil unrest), it's no different,” said Marc Limansky on Thursday. “We sent officers to Baltimore to assist--the same way we support all our allied agencies.” The New York Times received copies of some of the series of security bulletins issued to law enforcement from the FBI since the storming of the United State Capital on January 15 (below).