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Police, Michigan National Guard preparing for large Capitol protest Sunday

At a press conference Jan. 15, Major Paul Rogers (center) said elements of the Michigan Army...
At a press conference Jan. 15, Major Paul Rogers (center) said elements of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard operation have been activated to state active duty to help protect people, facilities and key infrastructure in Lansing.(WLUC/MSP)
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 10:48 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Police expect a large protest at the Michigan Capitol on Sunday, but they plan to be ready.

Michigan State Police are coordinating an increase in security measures with help from local authorities and the Michigan National Guard. The FBI also is working with police on the safety and security measures.

Michigan State Police increased their presence around the Capitol in the days after the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. There were increased patrols from uniformed personnel and other invisible security measures.

“Security enhancements that have been put in place include both seen and unseen measures,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the Michigan State Police. “I can assure you that we take our responsibility for safeguarding the Capitol and those who work and visit here seriously and, together with our law enforcement partners, we will be prepared to ensure law and order.”

Troopers from across the state will work with the Lansing Police Department, Ingham County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan National Guard to prepare for an expected gathering at the Capitol on Sunday. The FBI is warning of armed protests at all 50 state capitols and in Washington that day.

Police are working to ensure safety and security for the Capitol complex and surrounding businesses in downtown Lansing. Michigan State Police declined to discuss specifics of the security plan for this weekend.

“In general, we don’t discuss security measures so as not to provide an advantage to those wishing to inflict harm and cause disruption, but it’s important for the public to know that law enforcement is working together and has a coordinated plan to do everything within our power to ensure safety,” Gasper said.

Road closures around the Capitol and downtown Lansing will be in effect over the weekend to provide authorities with easy entrance and exit points to the expected protest area.

“We remain hopeful that those who choose to demonstrate do so peacefully, without violence or destruction of property,” Gasper said.

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