Central Florida law enforcement vigilant following FBI warning of armed protests

Intelligence units to monitor social media

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – With reports of the FBI contacting law enforcement in anticipation of armed protests in the coming days, officials in Central Florida are chiming in.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said on Monday that as a former sheriff, he said he remains vigilant.

“They will plan for the worst and hope for the best,” Demings said.

[RELATED: FBI warns of plans for nationwide armed protests next week]

Mayor Demings gave insights on how state and local law enforcement are likely evaluating security threats related to planned armed protests following last Wednesday’s unrest at the U.S. Capitol.

“I was advised earlier today by the sheriff’s office that they are working very closely to monitor any developments through the intelligence community across the country,” Demings said.

As rioters stormed the capitol complex last Wednesday, Orange County Sheriff John Mina said that law enforcement in Central Florida was checking for potential threats online.

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“Our intelligence units are monitoring social media. We are making sure that there is nothing that is going to happen or could happen,” Mina said.

The Associated Press reported on Monday two law enforcement sources told them details of an internal FBI bulletin, warning of armed protest as all 50 state capitols and in Washington D.C. from Jan. 16 to Jan. 20.

Sheriff Mina has said Orange County is prepared.

“We are well aware of things that could spill over and we are definitely prepared for that.”

In a statement, The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said that it too is monitoring for threats, but can’t release details due to security reasons.

About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.