Maine National Guard Activated – On Standby to Assist Police
Governor Janet Mills has activated Maine's National Guard, in preparation for any possible unrest connected to the Presidential inauguration.
State Police and Capitol Police in Augusta have already increased security around the Maine State House, after a warning from the FBI about the potential for organized , armed protests in capital cities across the U.S., particularly on Sunday and on Wednesday, January 20th. The Maine Department of Public Safety also said that they were watching for any potential locally-organized demonstrations.
On Friday, Governor Mills added another level of security by activating the Maine National Guard and placing them on standby. They will be ready, should their assistance be needed. The governor says, as of Friday, there was no credible evidence to suggest that there would be a security threat. But after the riot at the Capitol building in Washington D.C., she said she felt alerting the military was a necessary step.
"Doing so allows them to be ready to act in the event their support is needed," Governor Mills said in a media release. "I fully respect the right of all Maine people to speak their minds in a peaceful and lawful manner, and I hope - and expect - that will be the case in the coming days, just as it has been in the past here in Maine."
The Commissioner of the Maine Department of Public Safety, Mike Sauschuck said, in the same release, that law enforcement will be read for whatever may occur although, again, there is no credible evidence to suggest any such plans are in the works. He did issue a reminder, however, that weapons are prohibited on state property in Augusta.
Earlier this week, Governor Mills also authorized a request from the Chief of the National Guard Bureau to send Maine National Guard members to support federal agencies and the District of Columbia National Guard during the Inauguration.