State Police Continues Heightened Capitol Security Amid Threat of Protests

As threats build around state capitols across the country, police and military have increased patrols.

So far in Lansing, the protests have been small and peaceful but looking around and it’s a constant rotation of police circling the grounds.

”We’ve increased our police presence significantly and we’re going to continue to do that over the next couple weeks,” said Michigan State Police Lt. Brian Oleksyk.

This is a response to threats made against the Michigan State Capitol in the past week and chatter of armed protests planned on the grounds. Hundreds of police and national guard members were on hand Sunday, for a protest that never really materialized.

“The numbers were between 20 to 25 people that were here to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Lt. Oleksyk, “But there was more police and media here than protesters.”Capitol Costs Pic

With that many Michigan National Guard members and Michigan State Police on the grounds on Sunday, some think it was a bit of overkill given how few protesters actually showed up. Police believe their presence, and making that presence known early, discouraged protesters and kept numbers much lower than expected.

“I think we prepared out of an abundance of caution,” said Oleksyk.

One of the biggest security responses of the year put cost and strain on these departments. While neither the State Police or National Guard have reported a price, they work to lessen the impact.

“We bring troopers from all across the state of Michigan,” said Oleksyk, “So we don’t deplete just one post.”

The plan is to be on heightened alert for weeks still, keeping a close eye on pop up protests still expected.

“We’re going to ask you that if you come down here and you behave,” said Oleksyk, “ You don’t commit crime, you don’t commit violence, no destruction of property. Don’t assault a police officer or anybody in the crowd because if you do, that’s a crime and you’ll be arrested for the crime.”

Categories: Election 2020