Downtown security increased ahead of Inauguration Day

Security efforts have increased in downtown Atlanta and around the Georgia State Capitol. Military police and barricades currently surround the Gold Dome ahead of the presidential inauguration on Wednesday.

"This is just ridiculous. It is not the norm," said Janet Hart of Atlanta.

"I’ve been going to the Capitol since 1988 and I’ve never seen anything like this," said Lobbyist Jeff Breedlove.

The enhanced safety efforts come just two days before the inauguration, but state officials told FOX 5 it’s necessary.

"When you have a bombing in Nashville, the incident at the [nation’s] Capitol and information from law enforcement, we are going to put ourselves in a position to be proactive," said Lt. Mark Riley, Georgia State Patrol Public Information Officer. "We want to prevent anything from happening."

Georgia’s Air National Guard will not only play a big role locally but also at the national level. Guardsmen from around the state have also gone to Washington, D.C. to support inauguration security.

"I definitely think it’s necessary," said Towana Coleman of Atlanta. "I’d rather be safe than sorry."

"It provides safety for any protestors who may protest," said Lt. Riley.

And while most are thankful for the extra protection, it’s also a disheartening reality and site that no one ever expected to see.

"It’s really unsettling," said Cindi Brown of Atlanta.

"As an American, I’m embarrassed this is happening in our own back yard," said Coleman.

So far, there have been no issues around the state Capitol or in the downtown Atlanta area. Officials told FOX 5 the security efforts will remain in place as long as it’s necessary which could potentially be all week.

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