AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Public Safety is aware of the reports from the FBI about the potential for armed protests in every state capitol, including Maine, and takes them extremely seriously.
The Maine State Police, through the Maine Information Analysis Center (MIAC), remains in contact with Federal partners – including the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and others – to maintain situational awareness about the potential for civil unrest activities. It is also tracking the potential for Maine-based civil unrest independently, analyzing intelligence and tips received, and will work with partners to respond appropriately and as needed. As of Jan. 12, the Department of Public Safety, as a result of national reports, is specifically tracking and preparing for potential events in Augusta on Jan. 17 and Jan. 20. The Maine National Guard is engaged in these planning discussions with the department should additional support be needed.
The Maine State House building itself, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Legislature, is currently closed to the public and the Legislature is not using it to meet presently because of the pandemic. Furthermore, most staff from the Legislature, as well as those who work in surrounding state government buildings, are working remotely as a result of the pandemic. The Bureau of Capitol Police is the law enforcement agency responsible for protecting the safety of the state capitol and the office buildings that comprise the seat of Maine’s government. It takes that mission seriously. In response to the events last week and new reports outlined by the FBI, the Capitol Police, with the support of the Maine State Police, has increased its presence in and around the capitol building. In the coming days, the Capitol Police will continue to adjust protocols appropriately, when and as needed, but, as a matter of longstanding practice, it does not discuss more specific operational details of its work.