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Delaware law enforcement 'hyper-vigilant' about security threats after insurrection

Delaware Public Media

A recent FBI memo reportedly warns there are plans by far-right extremists to march on state capitals in all 50 states this weekend. 

NPR reports state capitals across the country are tightening security. 

President Trump put out a statement Wednesday saying “there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind.”

But law enforcement in Delaware's capital are on alert.

State Capitol Police Chief Michael Hertzfeld said in a statement the force is currently monitoring available intelligence regarding any threat to the State Capitol and will “maintain an operational posture for any event based on the current threat environment.”


He said the Capitol Police are “trained, equipped and prepared to meet any challenges that may arise” to protect elected officials, staff and visitors to the State Capitol Complex.


The General Assembly is back in session, but is meeting virtually. 


Still, state Attorney General Kathy Jennings says her office is being “hyper-vigilant” about threats following the insurrection.


“Our law enforcement in the state of Delaware as well as the FBI field office are 110 percent engaged,” she said. “I have the utmost faith in their ability to discern danger.”


Asked whether the Department of Justice has given guidance to Delaware police agencies for protecting First Amendment rights while preventing violence, Jennings says her office is “in discussions” that will include “strong and consistent messaging.”


Jennings encourages Delawareans with information about people who participated in last week's insurrection to contact the FBI.

David Karas, a spokesman for the Wilmington Police Department, declined to comment on whether the department is on guard for additional acts of violence in the coming days or whether it is putting in place any additional security precautions in regards to Biden’s frequent presence in Wilmington.  


Asked if the department is investigating whether any off-duty officers attended the riot, Karas said Wilmington police have “not received any information pertaining to that.”

Heather Pepper, spokeswoman for the Delaware State Police, said in an email her department has incident operation plans in place in the event “similar demonstrations” were to occur.


“The Delaware State Police remain vigilant by monitoring national, regional, and local intel,” she said. 


Pepper said the state police currently have “no information” of allegations that any off-duty officer attended the riot.


“In the event we are made aware of any, the Delaware State Police will follow all policies and procedures to investigate the matter,” she said. 


New Castle County police did not respond to requests for comment.


Anyone with information about the identities of those who participated in the riot at the U.S. Capitol last week should contact the FBI at (800) CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or the Delaware Department of Justice at (302) 577-8500. 




Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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