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Michigan National Guard, State Police prepare for protests at state Capitol

At a press conference Friday morning, Major Paul Rogers said elements of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard operation have been activated to state active duty to help protect people, facilities and key infrastructure in Lansing.
At a press conference Jan. 15, Major Paul Rogers (center) said elements of the Michigan Army...
At a press conference Jan. 15, Major Paul Rogers (center) said elements of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard operation have been activated to state active duty to help protect people, facilities and key infrastructure in Lansing.(WLUC/MSP)
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 10:47 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Preparing for potentially violent protests at the state Capitol Sunday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has activated the Michigan National Guard.

At a press conference Friday morning, Major Paul Rogers said elements of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard operation have been activated to state active duty to help protect people, facilities and key infrastructure in Lansing.

For security reasons, Rogers would not specifically identify the units or the number of personnel participating, but he calls the response significant. The Michigan Army and Air National Guard has 11,000 members.

The Michigan State Police has increased both personnel and protective measures, and is working in coordination with local and county law enforcement, the Michigan National Guard and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“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.”

Following the January 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. and the resulting online promotion of marches at capitols in all 50 states, the MSP increased its visible presence at the Capitol beginning on Monday. These additional uniform resources are in addition to the MSP state properties security officers who are assigned to provide security at the Capitol.

A 6-foot fence is being built around the Capitol Friday.

“In general, we don’t discuss security measures so as not to provide an advantage to those wishing to inflict harm and cause disruption, but it’s important for the public to know that law enforcement is working together and has a coordinated plan to do everything within our power to ensure safety,” Col. Gasper said. “We remain hopeful that those who choose to demonstrate do so peacefully, without violence or destruction of property.”

Law enforcement asks residents to assist them by reporting suspicious and unusual activity. Tips can be submitted 24/7 by calling 1-855-MICH-TIP or submitting an online tip at www.michigan.gov/MichTip. Tips can also be submitted direct to MichTip by downloading the mobile app. For matters that require immediate police response, call 9-1-1.

Watch back Friday morning’s press conference from the MSP and Michigan National Guard below, or on the TV6 & FOX UP Facebook page.

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