BOSTON (CBS) – The parking lot at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center is packed with military trucks and police cruisers. “It makes you nervous that our democracy is coming to this point,” said Boston resident Alex Roshi.
State Police said they have no new intelligence suggesting a specific threat, but at the State House Monday, every corner was under police guard Monday. It was surrounded by metal barricades and men and women in reflective yellow vests. “I’m glad that we had the resources to be able to provide this kind of safety,” said Alex Godfrey from across the street.READ MORE: 'It's Panic': CareWell Urgent Care Patients Concerned 2nd Vaccine Doses Will Be Canceled
Governor Charlie Baker activated 500 National Guard members to protect Massachusetts specifically through the inauguration. “All of our military police officers are trained at federal law enforcement standards, and hold a military occupational specialty in law enforcement,” said Lt. Col. Bryan Pillai, with the Massachusetts National Guard Police.READ MORE: Rep. Pressley, Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition Praise Reggie Lewis Center's Mass Vaccination Site
“They could very well go after symbolic targets, especially where the cradle of liberty is here,” said former Boston Police Commissioner and WBZ Security Analyst Ed Davis. He says states across the country are over-preparing this week after the storming of the Capitol in Washington DC. “That was a tragic failure of our security preparation, and what you’re seeing across the country right now is the exact opposite.”
Some people find the military presence unsettling. “Who knows what could happen,” said Boston resident Ben Dario. “It’s terrifying.”MORE NEWS: Johnson & Johnson's One-Shot COVID Vaccine Authorized For Emergency Use
“I think when people see the National Guard, it’s important to understand that we’re here to help. We’re their neighbors,” said Lt. Col. Pillai. “We all come from within Massachusetts, and this is something that we take very seriously.”