By Christina Hager

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts law enforcement is gearing up for election night and the days around it, as political and racial unrest reaches a boiling point across the country.

Massachusetts State Police say they’re increasing staffing, and will help local departments where needed. They say the Watch Center and Division of Homeland Security and Preparedness are continuously monitoring intelligence to maximize situational awareness.

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“All the ingredients are here for trouble,” said WBZ-TV security analyst Ed Davis, the former Boston Police Commissioner. “People have been stuck in their homes for six or eight months now, so they’re angry. People are just on edge. You add to that, the situation with the political unrest that’s occurring, the racial and police use-of-force unrest, and the fact that the President has said he will contest the election. He said it’s more important than ever for political leaders to step up and call for calm.”

Tuesday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker briefly spoke about the tensions around November 3.

“People believe there’s a lot at stake in this election, OK, and when people think there’s a lot at stake that tends to create a lot of emotion,” Baker said.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts said it’s ready to protect free speech.

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“People are likely going to take to the streets, whether it’s to celebrate or protest,” said Carol Rose, Executive Director of the ACLU, Massachusetts. “We’ve had instances of use of things like teargas, and pepper spray, and baton strikes that really aren’t necessary, and so the ACLU has been reaching out to elected officials and law enforcement, and reminding them that they need to exercise leadership.”


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Christina Hager