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FILE - The Capitol in Salt Lake City (Silas Walker, Deseret News)
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Gov. Cox Declares State Of Emergency For Capitol Complex

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Spencer Cox has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of potential protests this weekend through President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

“The governor has asked the Utah National Guard, Utah Highway Patrol and various area police departments to stand ready to ensure the safety of lives and property at Utah’s Capitol,” officials said.

The precaution comes after the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, where five people were killed, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick, and the Capitol suffered significant damages.

“We respect the right of Utah residents to peaceably assemble as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution,” said Cox. “But we draw the line at threats to physical safety or to the Utah Capitol building. No violence of any kind will be tolerated.”

The order goes into effect Friday and runs through Jan. 21.

In Utah’s capital city, the Salt Lake City and County building and surrounding buildings downtown have been boarded up out of an abundance of caution. UHP is already beefing up security at the Utah State Capitol after credible threats were made.

“We don’t want to incite panic in the public, but we want to be prepared,” a Salt Lake City Police Department spokesperson said. “It is better to be overprepared than underprepared.”

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