Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said that despite FBI warnings of armed demonstrations at state capitols, there are no “credible, detailed threats” in Annapolis.
While he’s doubled the number of National Guard troops being deployed to D.C. — from 500 to 1,000 — the governor said “we’re not going to leave ourselves unprotected.”
“We will have access to the Guard,” Hogan said.
Hogan spoke to reporters in the State House one day before the 90-day General Assembly session was set to start Wednesday.
Maryland Capitol Police would be the “first line of defense” in Maryland’s state capitol, Hogan said, and could be backed up by local Annapolis City Police, Anne Arundel County Police and Maryland State Police, “followed by the Guard if we need them.”
Asked about reports that there could be groups of armed demonstrators heading to state capitols this weekend, Hogan said: “I would strongly advise anyone not to come to the State House armed. And I think they would regret that if they did.”
Nick Cavey, director of the General Services Department’s Office of Public Information, issued a statement saying that measures taken to boost safety include the presence of “additional police officers and support security personnel,” as well as modified ID procedures to enter buildings that are part of the State House complex.
Maryland Capitol Police are part of that department.
Access to state legislative buildings was already restricted to lawmakers, their staffs and the media as part of a plan to reduce the risk of coronavirus during the 90-day legislative session.
Asked if he had any concerns about his personal safety, Hogan said, “I’m not concerned, although we do have hundreds of death threats.” Threats on social media, he said, had ramped up considerably recently.
“We’re going to keep doing our job, and trying to keep everybody else safe,” Hogan said.