BOSTON—Massachusetts public safety officials said today that they are prepared to support municipal authorities should they request assistance with large-scale events in the days ahead. The Baker-Polito Administration, local and state law enforcement, and other agencies are coordinating to ensure sufficient personnel are available to preserve public safety and protect the rights of all residents in the event of sizable gatherings related to the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis.
Governor Charlie Baker signed an order that will make up to 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard available in the event that local officials request their assistance. That number reflects the maximum number of personnel who would be available and not necessarily the number deployed; similar orders last year did not always result in any Guard operations.
“As we do for all potential large-scale gatherings in the Commonwealth, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has been working with our local, state, and federal partners to ensure public safety personnel can be on hand if the need arises,” said EOPSS Secretary Thomas Turco. “These are standard precautionary measures to protect the rights and safety of all residents, and there is no indication of any public safety risk in Massachusetts.”
“We are coordinating with our partner agencies on a multi-layered, scalable plan to protect people’s safety, property, and rights of assembly and free speech,” said Massachusetts State Police Colonel Christopher Mason. “We will adjust operations and staffing as necessary to ensure that all citizens can exercise their Constitutionally-protected rights in a safe and secure manner. Additionally, we stand ready to assist our local law enforcement partners throughout the state if requested.”
Colonel Mason said State Police would operate with increased staffing levels in the event that additional troopers were needed to ensure safety on state roadways and property or to assist local police departments that request assistance within their communities. Additionally, the State Police Watch Center and Division of Homeland Security and Preparedness will continue to monitor any developing incidents and intelligence for situational awareness and to maximize potential response capabilities.