Albany boosts security, braces for threats leading up to Biden inauguration

Protesters gather in support of President Donald Trump outside the New York State Capitol where Legislators will meet to begin the 2021 legislative session in Albany, New York, on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, AP Photo / Hans Pennink

ALBANY, NY – State and local law enforcement agencies in Albany prepare for the possibility of rioting in the New York capital after the FBI warned of nationwide protests in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday the state is aware of the threats and said there will be “more security during this time.”

The State Capitol building is already closed to the public, and most lawmakers and their staff are attending the session, which began January 6 – practically from within their boroughs. But a protest last week at the Capitol grounds resulted in a double stitch after suspected Antifa supporters clashed with members of the right-wing Proud Boys during a rally in support of President Donald Trump. It took place on the same day as the US Capitol riot.

Since then, part of State Street in downtown Albany that runs next to the Capitol has been closed to traffic. For months there have been barricades on the sidewalk to prevent gatherings in front of the entrance to the Executive Mansion where the governor lives. Dozens of state troops – including some canine units – patrolled the nearly empty halls of the State Capitol.

“In light of recent events in Washington and across the country, the New York State Police have taken precautionary steps to tighten security in and around the State Capitol in Albany,” State Police spokesman Beau Duffy said in an email . “These restrictions apply until further notice.”

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said they are also prepared for the threats and encourage Albany residents and businesses to check out the police department’s social media feeds and a local alert system to stay up to date with developments.

“The City of Albany continues to work closely with our federal and state intelligence and law enforcement partners to monitor any threats of violence and ensure that we are fully prepared to protect our city,” Hawkins and Sheehan said in the joint declaration.

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