Thursday, March 4, 2021

Gov. Whitmer activates the National Guard, Michigan State Police increases security at state capitol

January 15, 2021
<p>The Lansing Capitol building is being monitored on Election Day to prevent possible protests from arising. Shot on Nov. 3, 2020.</p>

The Lansing Capitol building is being monitored on Election Day to prevent possible protests from arising. Shot on Nov. 3, 2020.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Following the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, the Michigan State Police (MSP) has increased its security of the Michigan Capitol as the inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden approaches.  

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have already increased our visual uniform presence in and around the Capitol,” Director of the MSP Col. Joe Gasper said during a press conference on Friday morning. 

The Ingham County Sheriff's Office, the Lansing Police Department and the Michigan National Guard will assist with the increased security measures. These precautions are set to be in place until mid-February, Gasper said. 

The Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green encouraged people who “don’t have an intentional purpose to be downtown” to stay home.  

The Lansing Fire Department will also assist with property protection throughout the next few days.

“As with anyone that comes to our great city and to our Capitol building to we ask and encourage you to exercise your First Amendment rights peacefully,” Assistant Fire Chief Michael Tobin said.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called on the National Guard early Friday morning. Some state workers have already boarded up windows and there will be a fence put up surrounding the state Capitol building on Friday. 

Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard said, “Currently we are completed detailed planning with our partners in preparation for this weekend to ensure that our collaboration and our partnership is well coordinated.”

Rogers did not disclose what units or how many guards are participating. 

The MSP said in a press release early Friday morning that they are anticipating an unknown group of protesters on Jan. 17. Roads in downtown Lansing will be blocked but times specific roadblocks are unknown.  

Special Agent in Charge Tim Waters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Detroit reported that they are investigating many Michiganders who were involved in the riots at the U.S. Capitol.

“Beginning today and through the inauguration, the FBI will be at a heightened posture to be able to address and share threat information in real time with our local, state and federal partners,” Walters said.

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