SLC Government Buildings Boarded Up Ahead Of Inauguration Day
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As the political unrest continues in Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City and County leaders were gearing up for possible civil unrest in Utah.
Authorities are taking precautions ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Over the summer, many buildings in the downtown area were vandalized or damaged after a protest-turned-riot. In anticipation of issues in the coming days, leaders have ordered the first-floor windows of the Salt Lake City and County Building to be boarded up on all sides.
The driveway leading to the eastern entrance is also closed, and signs have been placed across the property informing the public that the building is closed until further notice.
A representative for Mayor Erin Mendenhall’s office said that the city’s efforts are “out of an abundance of caution.”
The spokesperson said the city is taking steps to protect several buildings but did not elaborate on which buildings they were going to focus on.
A Salt Lake City Police Department spokesperson said police headquarters will likely be boarded up, and it’s possible the courthouse could be, too.
The plywood will stay in place through Inauguration Day.
“We don’t want to incite panic in the public, but we want to be prepared,” according to the SLCPD spokesperson. “It is better to be over prepared than under prepared.”
The Utah Highway Patrol has reported they expect protests to start at the Utah Capitol Building beginning Sunday. Troopers were slated to head to Washington, D.C., to assist with the inauguration, but some were pulled from that detail to offer back-up on Utah’s Capitol Hill.
SLCPD will also be assisting at the Capitol, but the spokesperson said officers will be ready to go wherever they’re needed.
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