State Police working with National Guard, local police, FBI to secure Michigan's Capitol

security increased at Michigan Capitol building
Photo credit Marisa Jenkins/WWJ - FILE

(WWJ) Multiple law enforcement agencies are preparing for any threats of violence at Michigan's State Capitol.

In advance of anticipated demonstrations at the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Sunday, Michigan State Police say it had increased both personnel and protective measures, and is working in coordination with local and county law enforcement, the Michigan National Guard and the FBI.

Following the January 6 siege on the US 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 January 11. These additional uniform resources are in addition to the MSP state properties security officers who are assigned to provide security at the Capitol.

Earlier this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said authorities were monitoring "chatter" about possible violence planned at the Capitol.

She called such threats across the country "deeply concerning."

Then on Friday, Michigan Legislative leaders said "credible threats" at the Capitol have forced both the House and Senate to cancel scheduled sessions next week.

“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.”

In anticipation of an unknown number of demonstrators expected to gather on the grounds of the Capitol on Sunday, January 17, the MSP said it is again increasing its uniform presence by mobilizing troopers from across the state. MSP’s resources will be complemented by uniform personnel from the Lansing Police Department, Ingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan National Guard to ensure that the greater downtown area is also protected.

Details about the number of officers or their specific security missions will not be shared.

“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,” Gasper added. “We remain hopeful that those who choose to demonstrate do so peacefully, without violence or destruction of property.”

Michigan National Guard Major General Paul Rogers did not identify which units or the number of members who would be participating.

Rogers said the role of the Guard, activated at the governor's request, would be "to protect people, facilities and key infrastructure."

Those who live in the area should note there will be several road closures in effect for downtown Lansing on Sunday to facilitate ingress and egress.

Law enforcement is asking residents to help keep the area safe 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 MSP mobile app. If you need immediate police response, call 9-1-1.