State Police, Capitol Staff Prepare for Protesters

For those touring the State Capitol building, Monday, it was just a normal day...plus a few guests dressed in blue.

"We have an increased State Police presence," said Inspector Gene Adamczyk of Michigan State Police. "We want people to come here and exercise their constitutional rights, but regardless of what your stance is on this legislation, everyone has a safe visit."

A major presence on every floor of the Capitol, Michigan State troopers were brought in from across the state. Their job is to keep a close eye on as many as 10,000 right-to-work protesters expected to fill the Capitol lawn, Tuesday.

With the help of Michigan State Police, Capitol staff have plans in place to control the flow of a capacity crowd. Something that was difficult during protests last Thursday.

"We would like anybody that comes in to only come in from the east side of the Capitol and we can watch and restrict the flow that's coming in," said Steve Benkovsky, Director of Capitol Facilities.

That way, they can avoid issues like last time, when police had to fight the crowds to get to a 70-year-old woman who needed medical attention. On top of that, Benkovsky says another goal is to make sure there isn't any damage to the building itself.

"It's nine acres of decorative paint and it doesn't take much to do some damage to the paint walls and anything in here that we have to look out for," said Benkovsky.

If things do get out of hand, Tuesday, Inspector Adamczyk says state troopers will do whatever they need to keep the peace.

"We don't want to make any arrests," said Adamczyk. "You pay us to do a job and sometimes that job includes force."

The Capitol opens at 7:30 a.m.


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