NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Unrest over the weekend at opposing rallies in Northampton has officials looking ahead to public safety on Election Day.

The unrest came from tensions between pro-Trump demonstrators and counter-protestors.

Northampton’s police chief said they are beefing up patrols to make sure everyone stays safe on Election Day.

Back the Blue and pro-president Donald Trump demonstrators countered by police brutality demonstrators in Northampton on Sunday.

Crowds got big and police had to intervene.

“There was bleach confiscated by one of our supervisors from a protester, but the protester was just in possession of it,” said Chief Jody Kasper.

Kasper said they are unsure if anyone got splashed with bleach and they are also investigating reports of a car being swarmed by protestors.

“At a certain point the car moved forward, but we’re really not sure whether the pedestrian was struck by a vehicle. There were conflicting reports that the pedestrians put themselves on the vehicle,” she said.

She said there were no arrests from this incident, but that political tension across the country has caused her to play it safe and put extra patrols out on Election Day.

“We have staffing levels that are slightly increased,” she said. “We didn’t grant any time off for the day tomorrow and we’re hoping that we have a really smooth day.”

Western Mass News also spoke with the president of the Mass Police Chiefs, Chief Jeff Farnsworth of the Hampden Police Department.

He said each community has mapped out potential targets for security threats and has also collaborated with other police departments.

“We talk with all of our neighboring communities to be able to use, you know, resources to mutual aid our partners in the state police are available,” he said.

While preparing for the worst, Farnsworth said he’s hoping for the best, and that anyone who does want to protest will do so lawfully.

“We’re not finding any credible threats in the Commonwealth right now. We’re on heightened alert,” he said. “We encourage people to speak their minds and do so in the appropriate manner.”

In Springfield, Mayor Domenic Sarno said there will be a police officer at every polling location, and that they will have the support of 50 state troopers if any unrest arises.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.