By David Schuman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Officials this weekend are concerned about armed protesters at the Minnesota State Capitol. Security measures are already being put in place. Roads around the Capitol in St. Paul are now closed off.

The Department of Public Safety says Minnesota State Patrol troopers will be visible and available to respond this weekend, as well as National Guard soldiers, after they were activated Wednesday.

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“Minnesotans know that their state capitol is a place they can gather without fear,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said.

Local law enforcement leaders say they’re in regular communication with county, state and federal officials to coordinate and prepare for what’s ahead as the nation approaches the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“You are safe. You are in good hands. In the planning leading up to the events over the next many days has been extensive. All hands are on deck,” St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said.

Both the FBI and Department of Homeland Security have made it clear to Minnesota officials that there’s no immediate credible threat in the state. That’s not to say people shouldn’t be vigilant. The State Patrol urges a “see something, say something” mentality.

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“Every single time that one tip that comes in from a citizen that sees something and they just don’t think it’s right … please let us know. Call your local police department,” Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer said.

The focus goes beyond the Capitol. Federal buildings like courthouses, and even elected leaders’ homes, are being protected.

“I have the highest level of confidence in our police chief and in our law enforcement leaders who are working together that we will meet the challenges of this moment,” St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said.

The Minnesota History Center will close this weekend. Minnesota’s federal buildings and courthouses will be closed part of next week, and the U.S. Postal Service is removing blue collection boxes near the capitol.

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State leaders say they haven’t discussed a curfew.

David Schuman