Police officers from across the state are in Lansing preparing for protests as lawmakers get ready to vote on so-called “right-to-work” bills.
(Sound – Officers talking)
Dozens of State Police have gathered in a hallway in the Capitol’s lower level, cordoned off by blue curtains. This is their base of operations in the building this week as hundreds – maybe thousands - of protesters are expected to fill the upper levels.
In one closet, police have stashed helmets and other riot gear.
Capitol Facilities Director Steve Benkovsky hopes the demonstrations will stay peaceful.
“Everybody has a right to come in here and voice their opinion," he says. "And we’ll deal with it the best we can and let them voice their opinion.”
State and local police plan to close a number of streets around the state Capitol. They will also limit the number of people allowed in the building.
Some Democrats say the moves are meant to keep protesters away.