State and local law enforcement is prepared to respond if any protests or demonstrations at the Indiana Statehouse turn violent and destructive, similar to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing Republican President Donald Trump.
Captain Ron Galaviz of the Indiana State Police said Wednesday his agency is not aware of any planned activities on the Statehouse grounds in the days leading up to or following the Jan. 20 inauguration of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.
At the same time, Galaviz said the state police is monitoring the potential for violence and coordinating with federal and local partners on intelligence gathering and any necessary response.
"While we do not speak to specifics as they pertain to operational and security measures, we are prepared to provide the necessary security for the Statehouse and its adjacent campus," Galaviz said.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department similarly is working in tandem with state and federal law enforcement agencies ahead of Inauguration Day.
"We are aware of the reported social media chatter and will remain focused on monitoring all available intelligence over the coming days and weeks. Officers will continue to have a visible presence at any planned demonstrations in our community and are prepared to intervene should violence or property damage occur," IMPD said.
IMPD also is requesting anyone with information about potential threats to Indiana's capital city to report it to Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS.
Earlier this week, the FBI issued a bulletin warning that "armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from Jan. 16 through at least Jan. 20, and at the U.S. Capitol from Jan. 17 through Jan. 20."
In Wisconsin, one of the states whose narrow support for Biden led to Trump's electoral defeat, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has activated the National Guard and boarded up lower-floor windows at the state Capitol building in Madison to ward off any attacks.
Hoosier leaders aren't going that far.
Instead of calling the Indiana National Guard to Statehouse, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said he's ordered the deployment of 625 guardsmen to Washington, D.C. between Jan. 16 and 22 to help protect the inauguration.
In Indianapolis, access to the Statehouse already is limited as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a recent protest by Trump supporters outside the Statehouse — on the same day as the U.S. Capitol attack — was entirely peaceful.
There also have been no changes to the Indiana General Assembly meeting schedule next week due to the alleged threats. Holcomb still is scheduled to deliver his annual State of the State address Tuesday night, less than 24 hours before Biden's inauguration.
"We will be not just prepared, but ready, to do everything that we need to be doing to maintain law and order," Holcomb said. "We will have a presence that's appropriate to the situation."
Holcomb said Indiana, "fortunately," did not have "the same election issues that have been called into question" elsewhere, which have fueled the ire of many Trump supporters.
Northwest Indiana lawmakers also seem to be taking the threat warning in stride.
"I'm planning on coming to work and doing what I can — like always," said state Rep. Hal Slager, R-Schererville.
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, issued a statement Wednesday — prior to Trump being impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for inciting last week's violence — advising "anyone who has malicious intent" they are not welcome in Washington, D.C. or any state Capitol building.
"Violence has no place in our politics. Period," McDaniel said. "The peaceful transition of power is one of our nation's founding principles and is necessary for our country to move forward."