PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Police and National Guard forces will remain armed and ready until the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, although there are no mass protests against Capitol buildings in the Tristate on Sunday.
The threat is not over yet as the state capitals and Washington, DC remain on high alert, anticipating possible chaos ahead of the inauguration on Wednesday. Armed protesters took up positions in Ohio, Michigan and a handful of states on Sunday, and these were small and peaceful.
Here at home, Harrisburg, Trenton, and Dover have all been quiet, but police officers say they stay vigilant and take no chances.
Eyewitness News noted that some corporations in northeast Philadelphia decided to keep their windows and doors boarded up in preparation for potential problems, but concerns over large-scale protests this weekend did not materialize.
There are no protests to report in Philadelphia or in any of the Three State Capitals this weekend, and there were many boots on the ground and ready to keep it that way.
Law enforcement in major cities like Philadelphia and the state capitals were on high alert when the FBI received information this weekend about possible armed protests outside state houses across the country.
"We don't want to see a repeat of what happened in the US Capitol and we asked all hands to be on deck on Sunday," said Mayor Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton). "We work with all levels of law enforcement. We just want to make sure that our buildings and especially the neighborhoods as well as the people and residents do not feel threatened in any way."
Gusciora essentially closed downtown Trenton and covered the area with police. Fortunately, everything was quiet on Sunday.
"We just hope that it stays safe, that they do it peacefully during protests and ultimately respect the American electoral system," said Gusciora.
In Dover, Chopper 3 captured three demonstrators with American flags on a march.
In the Pennsylvania Capitol Complex in Harrisburg, similar.
In Harrisburg, barricades, National Guard forces, state troops and police officers surrounded the Capitol complex in anticipation of crowds that never showed up.
Still, officials abandon their guards a few days before Biden's inauguration.
"It's a chess game right now and we're going to be in it for the long term," said Harrisburg Police Commissioner Thomas Carter.
Joe Sullivan, retired deputy commissioner and former chief of homeland security for the Philadelphia Police Department, says the unrest in the capital shows that overreaction is preferable to underestimating potential threats.
"There are people who are trying to take advantage of the unrest that is going on," Sullivan said. "It's better to work more people and cover more locations than fewer. You can shut it down anytime you want. But as you saw at the Capitol, it takes a long time, and once a crisis occurs, it intensifies."
The City of Philadelphia adheres to this advice. The city's emergency response center was on light activation all weekend in case anything should happen.
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