PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Police are gearing up for possible protests in the event President Donald Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller.
A memo went out to the police department from Victor Joseph, commander of the Pittsburgh Bureau of police.
In the memo the department’s detectives are instructed to begin wearing a full uniform and carrying riot gear with them in anticipation of massive protests.
Police believe the protest would happen within 24 hours of Mueller’s firing.
“There is a belief that President Trump will soon move to fire Special Prosecutor Mueller. This would result in a large protest within 24 hours of the firing,” the emails states.
“We have received information of a potential large scale protest in the Central Business District. The protest would be semi-spontaneous and more than likely happen on short notice,” the email says. “Beginning Thursday, all Major Crimes detectives are required to bring a full uniform and any issued protective equipment (riot gear) with them to work until further notice.”
Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich confirmed that the decision was precautionary and not based on any specific intelligence.
Hissrich released a statement about the possible protests:
“The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police receives information daily that we evaluate and prepare for if the event should occur. Events can include anything from extreme weather to potential demonstrations.
“Often the events we prepare for do not occur. However, through an abundance of caution, we attempt to adequately prepare for an appropriate response.
“We receive information regularly about potential events and/or threats, assess the credibility of the information and plan for a potential event. In this case, we have not assessed the credibility of the potential for disturbances, and we do not have any knowledge of the President’s decision-making process.”
Hissrich added, “On a routine basis, we receive intelligence about potential problems that may occur in the city, whether it be weather-related, whether it be man-made, whether it be demonstrations, and we act accordingly and appropriately to have a plan in place.”
KDKA talked to Mayor Bill Peduto and Public Safety Director William Hissrich at a Citywide public safety meeting in Lawrenceville Wednesday night.
Watch Christine D’Antonio’s report —
Mayor Peduto responded to the internal email that was sent to detectives advising them to begin wearing their full uniform and to bring protective gear with them.
“This is one where the commander was making sure that the detectives, if needed for any other duty, would have the materials and resources that they would need to carry out their job.”
On Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thwarted a bipartisan effort to protect Mueller’s job.
McConnell said he would not hold a floor vote on the legislation even if it is approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
McConnell claims the bill is not necessary because President Trump will not fire Mueller.
The bipartisan legislation was introduced last week as Mr. Trump publicly criticized Mueller who is investigating potential ties between Russia and Mr. Trump’s campaign.