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Enhanced Security Planned At Capitol This Weekend

Abigail Censky
The Michigan State Capitol pictured Friday, January 15, 2020. A perimeter fence has been installed as a security precaution.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has activated Michigan National Guard units ahead of protests expected Sunday at the state Capitol. The coordinated law enforcement effort also includes the FBI and local police departments.


Police agencies have ramped up intelligence gathering and a visible presence following the insurrection at the US Capitol that turned violent and out of control. The plans include boarding up windows and putting up a fence around the state Capitol.


“We are prepared for the worst, but we remain hopeful that those who choose to demonstrate at our Capitol do so peacefully and without violence or destruction,” said Colonel Joe Gasper, the Michigan State Police director. “…Security enhancements that we have are both seen – such as the increase in uniformed personnel and a perimeter fence – and unseen, which are things we have no intention of discussing or disclosing because these efforts are meant to be covert.”


Gasper says an elevated police presence will last through at least mid-February based on threat assessments. 


The Michigan Legislature’s GOP leaders cancelled next week’s sessions due to “credible threats” of violence. 


Trials are also pending for men accused of an alleged plot to kidnap and possibly murder Governor Whitmer. The initial members of the group met at a state Capitol protest.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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