Security remains tight at Michigan Capitol on Inauguration Day

LANSING, Mich., (WOOD) — The Michigan State Police, a helicopter and the National Guard stood watch over Michigan’s Capitol building ahead of the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Troopers say they started increasing their presence at the Capitol last week following warnings of further protest like the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

A very small crowd gathered out front of the state Capitol Wednesday morning, saying they still have questions about the validity of the 2020 presidential election. They left shortly after noon. A few others showed up later and left Trump 2020 signs but did not stay for long.

Several troopers could be seen patrolling the Capitol grounds. There was no planned event, but police say they prepared for crowds upward of a few thousand.

“I can tell you there’s only been a crowd of maybe two to five people. At this time, there’s nobody here right now. Sometimes with our police presence we prepare for the worst and hope for the best and this is one of those situations today,” Lt. Brian Oleksyk with the Michigan State Police said.

Protesters outside the Michigan Capitol on the day of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. (Jan. 20, 2021)

Oleksyk says the afternoon remained mostly quiet, but there were a few safety concerns. Police received a call about a vehicle that was parked overnight at the Capitol. They also received a call from a local business reporting a suspicious device. A bomb squad checked out both the car and device and say they were false alarms.

“That building behind me, rest assured that it is secure today and in the next couple of weeks and in the future,” Oleksyk said as he pointed to the Capitol.

Wednesday afternoon, a gate still remained outside of the building. Police say they’ll continue patrolling the area heavily in the coming weeks.