Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, out of an “abundance of caution,” ordered additional security measures be taken around the city’s downtown buildings in advance of anticipated civil unrest at the Colorado State Capitol in the coming days.
Across the country, armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitals, according to an internal FBI bulletin first obtained by ABC News. The warning has heightened security around the state Capitol in Denver, with law enforcement agencies, including the Colorado State Patrol and the FBI’s Denver office, following developments closely.
“I want to assure you that we are working in close coordination with federal, state and local authorities and have plans in place to protect our residents, employees and facilities,” the mayor wrote to city employees Friday in a letter obtained by Colorado Politics.
Hancock called for fencing, screening and adjusted hours for several city-run facilities from Friday through at least Jan. 20.
Starting this weekend, the mayor will also require that street parking surrounding the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building — named after Denver’s first Black mayor — be restricted. Any vehicles that enter the Webb Building parking garage, the mayor said, will be screened by the Denver Sheriff Department.
Additionally, the mayor will also close the majority of employee-only entrances at the City and County Building, meaning city employees, Hancock said, “should be prepared to abide by all public screening procedures.”
The city's chief executive also advised city employees who work in downtown offices to work remotely through Jan. 21, if possible.
As of Jan. 18, which marks Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, hours at downtown city buildings — including the City and County Building, Webb Municipal Building, McNichols Building, Elections Division, Minoru Yasui Plaza, Police Administration Building, Downtown Detention Center and the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse — will be restricted. The buildings will be closed on Jan. 18, 20 and 21, and open with limited hours from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 19 and 22.
All other city buildings, with the exception of Denver International Airport, will operate on a modified schedule, from Jan. 19-22 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“I want to thank each one of you for your exceptional efforts on behalf of our residents during this pandemic and these unprecedented times,” the mayor told his colleagues in his closing thoughts.
After a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on July 6, Hancock shut down downtown city buildings for the rest of that day as a "proactive safety measure" in light of the growing protest at the state Capitol, which was organized by the Colorado Election Integrity Project.
The crowd drew about 300 people, who — although demonstrably angry — remained peaceful.