Security ramped up at state Capitol as Biden’s inauguration nears

Security ramped up at state Capitol ahead of presidential inauguration

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - State and local law enforcement are increasing security measures at the state Capitol building on the advice of the FBI.

Earlier this week, the agency warned of armed protests at all 50 state capitals ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“I think the most important thing we learned about the events on January 6th at our nation’s capital is they thought that they had it under control and they didn’t reach out and accept help from other law enforcement jurisdictions,” said Hawaii State Senate President Ron Kouchi.

Jan. 20 isn’t just inauguration day. Its also the first day of the new legislative session for Hawaii.

“It causes anxiety and I have to say that it causes anxiety in the community, but what I would also share with the community to provide some hope is that our members have been called back to the Capitol,” said House Majority Leader Della Belatti.

“They are here working. This is sometimes part of our busiest part of session. So we have members who are here, staff members who are here who are dedicated. We are working on bills. We are having Zoom meetings. We are preparing for a session that will be mostly virtual.”

Law enforcement experts say that the warning from the FBI this week has put police around the country on high alert.

“All law enforcement has to take that seriously and that is being done here as well,” former federal agent Tommy Aiu said.

“State Sheriff, Honolulu Police Department and federal authorities are all on alert for the upcoming inauguration and I can tell you that this building will be well protected and properly staffed by state and local law enforcement.”

According to law enforcement leaders, there have been no credible threats to the Hawaii state Capitol or any other government buildings in Hawaii.

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii is asking people to report suspicious activity to the FBI’s Honolulu office by calling (808) 566-4300 or simply dialing 911.

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