Madison Police: Unaware of Specific Threats, Will Maintain 'Enhanced' Posture Around Capitol

By Will Kenneally

January 14, 2021

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Workers board up Capitol

State workers board up the Capitol ahead of potential violence before the inauguration Jan. 11, 2021.

Madison’s acting police chief and mayor say they are unaware of specific threats to Wisconsin’s Capitol as police prepare for the possibility of violence ahead of the presidential inauguration.

“There’s no specific direct threats to Madison or anything in Madison at this point,” said Madison Acting Police Chief Vic Wahl. “With that being said, we work very closely with our state and federal partners to maintain knowledge, situational awareness of the latest intelligence.”

Wahl said he knows of one demonstration expected to take place in downtown Madison, related to the Kenosha district attorney’s charging decision. Otherwise, police are wary of national calls to storm state capitols that could occur on Sunday.

“Because of the larger national intelligence picture, out of an abundance of caution, we will continue to maintain and enhance staffing posture through Inauguration Day,” Wahl said.

This comes amid high political tension heading into the inauguration. Earlier in the week, an Eau Claire area man was arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

On Thursday, newly-elected U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said he was not sure whether President Donald Trump deserved the blame for inciting last week’s riots.

“It’s just hard for me to believe right now that the entire crowd was somehow fired up just by the speeches of the day to take that action,” Fitzgerald said during a Milwaukee Press Club/WisPolitics.com event.

Fitzgerald, along with U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, voted to object to states’ electoral college votes when Congress met last week to certify the results. Both joined their Republican colleagues in voting against articles of impeachment in the House.

“Joe Biden has talked about unity and healing, is that what this is today,” Tiffany said from the floor Wednesday.

Ahead of the inauguration, Gov. Tony Evers activated the Wisconsin National Guard to help secure the Wisconsin Capitol, and sent roughly 500 guard members to assist the nearly 20,000 troops that will be deployed to provide security in Washington.

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