City of Columbia leaders to speak on preparations for possible State House protests

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — Officials with the city of Columbia are scheduled to address their preparations regarding possible protests at the State House over the weekend.

The news conference will take place at City Hall in Council Chambers at 2 p.m. Mayor Steve Benjamin, City Manager Teresa Wilson and Columbia PD Chief Skip Holbrook are expected to speak.

According to a release from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, SLED, Columbia PD and Richland County Sheriff’s Office are all working in collaboration to ensure the safety of security of the state house.

Our goal — first and foremost — is to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of our State Capitol Complex and the surrounding area where our state’s citizens should be free to visit, participate in peaceful protests and our elected officials and personnel should feel safe to conduct business,” Director Woods said. “The events of the last week around the nation, as well as the threats against State Capitols, have necessitated a more heightened security posture in the coming days and for as long as we need to maintain that elevated presence. We are advising the public to expect more visible security measures both inside the State House and around the perimeter of the grounds.

Beginning this weekend and stretching through Inauguration, the public should expect to see more law enforcement vehicles; a perimeter around the State House that will include physical barriers as well as more law enforcement presence – both inside and outside the State House. Additional law enforcement from the SC Department of Public Safety, augmented by local and state agencies, will be posted in the lobbies of each building on the State House Complex. Additionally, there will be signage on the grounds that will remind the public that no weapons are allowed on the State House grounds. South Carolina Section 10-11-320: “It is unlawful for any person or group of persons to: carry or have readily accessible to the person upon the Capitol grounds or within the Capitol building any firearm or dangerous weapon…”

SC Department of Public Safety Director Robert G. Woods, IV

WSPA will livestream the news conference in the video player above.

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