Despite an FBI bulletin signaling a potential threat to all 50 state capitol buildings, an official with the Missouri Department of Public Safety said there’s no specific danger to the facility in Jefferson City.
The bulletin, issued Sunday, said more bloodshed is possible at state capitol buildings across the nation.
“Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January,” one official told the Associated Press.
Mike O’Connell, the communications director for the Missouri Department of Public Safety, said the department doesn’t generally discuss specific security threats. However, O’Connell downplayed the idea that law enforcement officials are dealing with a specific threat.
“There are no known threats at this time,” O’Connell said. “While our policy is not to discuss specific details of security plans or operations, they include long-term advance planning, training, exercises and close coordination between state government and our local and federal partners.”
Missouri Capitol Police, and partner agencies, do rely on information sharing from outside agencies like the FBI. The Sunday bulletin came after a riot at the U.S. Capitol that displaced lawmakers and delayed a special session. A police officer died from injuries sustained during the riot.
“Also key is sharing regional and national homeland security and intelligence information in real time,” O’Connell said in a statement. “Security operations and staffing are adapted based on this information and other sources.”
As of Tuesday, the Capitol grounds had no additional security personnel, and O’Connell said he wasn’t aware of plans to utilize the Missouri National Guard to protect the building. While soldiers were deployed at the inauguration for Missouri Governor Mike Parson, O’Connell said they were there in a mainly “ceremonial role.”
The Missouri Highway Patrol and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources can also help patrol the capitol grounds, alongside Missouri Capitol Police.
In Kansas, State Rep. Dr. John Eplee (R-Atchison), said he had no fear for his personal safety while in the Capitol building in Topeka. Both the Kansas and Missouri legislatures are in open session.
“There is a lot of protection for legislators,” Eplee said. “I’ve been reassured of that by the Kansas Highway Patrol that provides a lot of coverage for us here alongside Kansas Capitol Police.”
Kansas Capitol Police Lt. Eric Hatcher said Tuesday that the agency had received the information about the possibility of armed protests in states, but nothing specific about Kansas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.