THOMASVILLE — Federal officials warned police chiefs nationwide Wednesday about violence expected as the Wednesday, Jan. 20, presidential inauguration of Joe Biden draws nearer.

Thomasville Police Department is among the agencies to receive the call.

Federal intelligence officials warned local police that armed militia groups and racist extremists are targeting the inauguration, the New York Times reported Wednesday night.

Local police departments are known as "boots on the ground" in such situations, said TPD Maj. Shane Harris.

TPD patrol officers have been alerted to look for suspicious activity, "anything out of the ordinary," Harris said.

Suspicious activity will be reported to the FBI field office.

"There's nothing to say that in Thomasville, Georgia, it's going to happen. We're just being proactive," the officer added.

Harris pointed out Thomasville's proximity to Tallahassee, Florida's capital city. Agitators in Tallahassee might make their way to Thomasville, he said.

Nothing in day-to-day TPD operations will change, other than to alert patrol officers about intelligence TPD might receive.

Harris said patrol officers have been instructed that if they "see something, say something."

Because of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week, the possibility of civil unrest remains nationwide, the officer said, adding that riots and demonstrations are possible at government facilities throughout the nation.

TPD is monitoring social media for intelligence involving this area. Harris said signs of civil unrest might show up on the dark web.

"We have not received or seen any intelligence to lead us to believe there will be riots or civil unrest for our area," he said. "As always, we are proactive in our efforts to protect our town and community." 

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820 

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