As Inauguration Day Looms, Preparations Made In SLC For Possible Unrest

Jan 14, 2021, 12:39 PM | Updated: 6:02 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – With warnings of potential protests across the nation ahead of Inauguration Day, city and state leaders are preparing for the worst, including in Utah.

The possible threats now raise the question if local businesses should also worry.

Salt Lake City police told KSL they are not telling businesses to take steps that could cost them money, but being prepared is a good idea.

“If I’m working that day, I would be worried, yes,” said McCall Christiansen, an employee at Jeanie’s Smoke Shop downtown.

He said it is going to be business as usual for them until Inauguration Day.

“It’s absolutely terrifying,” Christiansen said. “I live right next to the police station, and the riots in the summer – I had to evacuate.”

The Salt Lake City and County building and surrounding buildings downtown have also been boarded up out of an abundance of caution. The Utah Highway Patrol is already beefing up security at the State Capitol after credible threats were made.

Salt Lake City police, the Utah National Guard and federal agencies are ready to step in at a moment’s notice.

“We are going to have all hands on deck here ready to protect our state’s Capitol and our democracy,” said UHP Lt. Nick Street.

The hope is there will be no violence.

Christiansen said he is keeping his fingers crossed as his smoke shop is right along the path of the Utah State Capitol.

“Now that we have people storming the Capitol freely, pretty much it makes it feel like there is no respect for politics in general,” he said. “Like it’s just a school lunch fight.”

KSL reached out to City Creek Center, which took precautions on Election Day by boarding up windows. Officials there did not share any plans for specific security measures. As of noon Thursday, there were no boards on any shop windows.

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As Inauguration Day Looms, Preparations Made In SLC For Possible Unrest