RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond Police have already put up barriers that will divert traffic away from the Virginia State Capitol in downtown Richmond.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said in a news conference Thursday that violence would have no place in the Commonwealth.
"Let me repeat: the violence and insurrectionist activities that we saw at our nation's capital will not be repeated here at the state capitol,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said.
One woman we spoke with said she's heard that before and hoped leaders weren't playing politics with public safety.
Lauren McDaniel said it contradicted what she believed was allowed in Richmond over the summer during protests against police brutality and said she hoped leaders this go around stayed true to their word.
"If you want to exercise your free speech, that's your First Amendment and that's your right,” McDaniel said. “As long as you do it in a peaceful way and about America and the best thing for America, I have no problem with that. It needs to be the same rules for everybody."
Heightened security is what's happening in every major city in the U.S., following last week's riot on Capitol Hill.
"We want to assure Virginians that we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the work of our General Assembly," Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran said. "We want to make sure it proceeds safely and without interruption. Importantly and at the same time, we will protect individual's Constitutional rights of free speech and assembly. "
Soldiers from the Virginia National Guard are already helping up in D.C. and will be available if Richmond calls.
Governor Northam said he doesn't have specifics on what to expect.
"I don't have numbers or anything as far as that goes, just heard the intelligence all others have heard,” said Northam. “We take threats seriously and as you can see we are going to be prepared."
Crime Insider sources told Jon Burkett that Richmond Police are preparing for protests to start as soon as this weekend and will have extensive manpower throughout the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's Inauguration.