Michigan law enforcement to increase security at State Capitol in anticipation of armed protests

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Michigan law enforcement agencies will collaborate to secure the State Capitol in anticipation of planned armed protests later this month, authorities said Friday.

Following the riots at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, the FBI uncovered evidence that groups planned further armed protests in the nation’s capital and had encouraged similar protests in each state’s capital, as well.

Michigan State Police (MSP) have since increased the number of personnel around the State Capitol, according to an agency press release.

LANSING, MI - JANUARY 06: Supporters of President Donald Trump join in a mass prayer out front of the Michigan State Capitol Building to protest the certification of Joe Biden as the next president on January 6, 2021 in Lansing, Michigan. Trump supporters gathered at state capitals across the country to protest today's ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)

LANSING, MI – JANUARY 06: Supporters of President Donald Trump join in a mass prayer out front of the Michigan State Capitol Building to protest the certification of Joe Biden as the next president on January 6, 2021 in Lansing, Michigan. Trump supporters gathered at state capitals across the country to protest today’s ratification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)

“Security enhancements that have been put in place include both seen and unseen measures,” stated Col. Joe Gasper, director of the MSP. “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.”

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The state police will work with a number of local law enforcement agencies, including the Lansing Police Department, Ingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan National Guard, to ensure the downtown area is protected.

The agencies would not share how many officers will be deployed, nor their specific assignments.

Several roads will be closed in downtown Lansing on Sunday to control traffic and access.

Michigan also recently banned the open carry of guns in the state’s capitol — a move that had been in the works since protesters gathered in opposition to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 restrictions.

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The initial press release did not say how long the increased law enforcement presence would remain in the State Capitol.

Fox News reached out to Michigan State Police for further comment, but officials did not immediately respond.

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