Kansas Capitol Police prepare for protests leading to Inauguration Day
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -The Kansas Capitol Police are planning for protests leading up to Inauguration Day.
Spokesperson Lt. Terry Golightley said there are two primary tactics to keep the grounds and lawmakers safe.
“Adequate staffing and hopefully we’ll be able to talk to the organizers and have a good relationship with them so they’re not upset with how the process is going,” he said Wednesday.
“We consistently review intel information that we get from our intelligence officers and based on that review we plan to make sure we have adequate security staffing and measures in place.”
Golightley said working with protest organizers gives security an idea of what they can expect and help protect everyone.
“We try to work directly with the organizer of the protest )and try to see what we can do to make sure they get their word out their agenda out to the public or heir agenda to who they want to get their agenda out to without causing violence or property damage or things like that,” he said.
“My expectations are that the members in society in Kansas will act accordingly to get their word across to people they want to get their word out to.”
Attorney General Derek Schmidt told 13 NEWS on Tuesday that there were no credible threats to the statehouse or to public officials, but based on guidance from the FBI, there’s still reason to remain cautious.
“It’s not unusual to have alerts from federal authorities to law enforcement throughout the country about things that are happening or might be happening,” he said.
“What’s different this time is probably because of all the national discussion of recent events is that they’ve been much more public about these kinds of warnings.”
Still, law enforcement remains confident Kansans will stay peaceful.
“We always hope for the best and plan for the worst,” Golightley said.
“In my years in kansas that most of the time law enforcement and the members of most protest groups will be able to voice their concerns without causing a lot of damage and violence.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, Capitol Police were not in talks with organizers of any protests but said based on intelligence reports, there are protests planned.
A spokesperson for Governor Laura Kelly said the office is aware of the heightened risks and is taking any threats seriously.
Both the Topeka Police Department and the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office said they are monitoring intelligence in the region and will support other local law enforcement agencies to keep the area safe.
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