As states across the nation have been told to prepare for potential violent protests in the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, the Rochester Police Department said the city has received no specific threats.
"We are aware of the national concern and the information that was provided. We have not received anything specific to Rochester that would allow us to narrow that down as to what, when and where," Rochester police Capt. Aaron Penning said Tuesday morning.
The department will be extra vigilant in the coming week and has proactively increased patrols in areas they have identified as being of potential concern, Penning said.
"Without anything specific, we look at the very general -- identifying any persons, places, public locations, including private -- that we believe could be locations and we ensure that we have a response protocol and then proactively, we increase patrols -- a vigilance piece to ensure we are the first to know if something develops," Penning said.
Unlike in St. Paul, the Rochester Police Department has not received any alert from the FBI or any specific messages that there is a threat in the city.
It was reported earlier this week that the FBI has credible evidence of a threat of violence on Sunday aimed at the Minnesota Capitol by right-wing extremists. The report said that some followers of the violent Boogaloo movement attended protests in early December at the Capitol as part of a scouting mission "to identify escape points and defensible positions in the event violence occurred."
Boogaloo members were not planning an attack for Sunday, but were planning to use violence if fighting were to occur.
Boogaloo members "scouted general law enforcement presence" at the earlier rallies, as well as identified law enforcement sniper locations and buildings they could use as firing locations if fighting occurred.
Penning said the extra patrols and vigilance will continue through the presidential transition.
"I believe there is certainly a higher level of vigilance right now given current events of this past year and then current events of this past week," Penning said. "Again, not that there is any specific threat-- just that we are prepared for gatherings, protests. Anything that could affect public safety."
Penning also said the department has not been contacted by the FBI to assist in an investigations in connection to the violent takeover of the nation's Capitol on Dec. 6. It is not mandatory for the FBI to notify local departments about investigations, but Penning said it is usually a courtesy given by the bureau to notify the department as it may use local resources.