Governor Kemp, standing alongside Georgia’s top public safety leaders, announced Georgia's Capitol security teams are prepared for any possible protests in the works this month.  

Georgia State Patrol cars parked on top of the front steps of the State Capitol Tuesday guarding the doors.

"We are well-postured and well prepared to handle anything that may come in our direction," said Colonel Chris Wright, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, who stood alongside General Tom Carden, the adjunct General of Geogia's Department of Defense.

Guards, heavily armed with assault rifles, stood watch over the entrances of the building.

"I think our threat level that we are seeing and hearing in regards to the Georgia State Capitol seems to be very low at this point in time, but we are taking nothing for granted," Kemp said in a Tuesday press conference. "I think we see what happens when you do that looking back to last week," he added.

The heightened security effort comes amid a strong warning from the FBI that armed protests are being planned at all state capitols leading up to Inauguration Day.
 
"I think we have to take any FBI warnings very, very seriously. I know I do and I know our state patrol does," said House Speaker Rep. David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge. 
 
Ralston said seeing the extra patrol cars was reassuring to him.
 
"We are in a very difficult challenging time right now with a lot of threats out there that we have to take seriously," Ralston said. "We have members of the house, members of the senate, members of the public; we’ve got staff and the media that are here in this building, and it’s nothing I take more seriously than the safety and well-being of all of them."
 
Governor Kemp extended the executive order calling on the 1,000 Georgia National Guard troops to remain on active duty to maintain peace, subdue riots, and make arrests among various other responsibilities.
 
Capitol Police declined to go on camera but said in a statement:
 
"The Department of Public Safety, including Capitol Police, and the Georgia State Patrol, continues to monitor protest activity and to evaluate its security measures at the Capitol. However, we do not share our operational plans. We are prepared to respond in the appropriate manner as we have always done in the past."

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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