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LSP, FBI and other law enforcement agencies preparing for capitol protests

Louisiana State Capitol building in Baton Rouge.
Louisiana State Capitol building in Baton Rouge.(WAFB)
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 9:20 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Louisiana State Police, which is tasked with protecting the capitol, the people, and the government it conducts inside, says they are aware of the planned protests and are working closely with federal, state and local law enforcement.

In a statement, LSP says:

“Louisiana State Police is aware of the planned protests at the State Capitol and is working closely with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to coordinate security protocols. As with previous protest events across the state, the Louisiana State Analytical & Fusion Exchange continually monitors potential security concerns and will be providing pertinent information to our public safety personnel to ensure safety for protesters, Capitol grounds and staff, and the surrounding community. In coordination with Capitol staff and the Department of Public Safety Police, LSP will have personnel in place to ensure a safe environment and to protect the rights of our citizens to hold a peaceful gathering. We will not be able to provide specific information regarding protest security measures and cannot comment on the security protocols concerning the Governor’s Mansion and Louisiana State Capitol.”

LSP

Ronal Serpas, former NOPD superintendent and former chief of Washington State Police, says in these days before the protest, LSP will be working with those state, local and federal agencies to put people and resources in place, especially following last week’s incident at the nation’s capitol. They’ll be conferring with what’s called a fusion center that essentially streamlines communication and intelligence between these agencies. He says without a doubt, LSP and other law enforcement agencies will be ready, but considering the political and social tensions, this is unfamiliar territory.

“You start with the obvious first level of protection is life and then property and the ability of government to do what it supposed to do. So, the state police will be thinking about their staffing. They’ll think about whether they need to enlist the assistance of other state agencies or other law-enforcement agencies. I would think it’s out of the ordinary. The nation has been experiencing lots of protest within a short period of time, especially since George Floyd was killed. The notion that state police are ready, I think we should be comfortable with that. They’re a very well run organization. This is what they do every day, protecting the state capital is what they do every day,” said Serpas.

The FBI New Orleans Bureau also released a statement. It reads:

“While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is supporting our state, local and federal law enforcement partners with maintaining public safety in the communities we serve. Our efforts are focused on identifying, investigating and disrupting individuals that are inciting violence and engaging in criminal activity. As we do in the normal course of business, we are gathering information to identify any potential threats and are sharing that information with our partners. The FBI respects the rights of individuals to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights. Our focus is not on peaceful protesters, but on those threatening their safety and the safety of other citizens with violence and destruction of property.”

FBI New Orleans

Serpas says law enforcement at the capitol will support peaceful protests, but they will be on the watch for any risks and criminal activity. He recommends anyone protesting at the capitol to not engage in this kind of activity.

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