LANSING, Mich — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activated the National Guard, the state police continued to augment its presence at the Capitol and crews prepared to install a 6-foot fence around the 142-year-old building before potential protests ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Michigan State Police Col. Joe Gasper said Friday that an unknown number of demonstrators were expected to gather on the grounds Sunday, a week-and-a-half after the deadly breach at the U.S. Capitol. Troopers were being mobilized from across the state and will be joined by the National Guard and local law enforcement.
“I assure you that we take our responsibility for safeguarding the Capitol very seriously,” Gasper said during a news conference. “Together with our law enforcement partners, we are prepared for the worst, but we remain hopeful that those who choose to demonstrate at our Capitol do so peacefully, without violence or destruction of property.”
Increased state police staffing at the statehouse will last at least through mid-February, he said.
Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard, said the governor — at the request of local officials — had activated troops to help protect people, facilities and key infrastructure. He declined to say how many will be involved but said the response is “significant.”
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