SAFETY

DPS spent hundreds of thousands in anticipation of riots at the Capitol, say it was the right thing to do

Jan 22, 2021, 7:38 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2021, 3:59 pm
DPS spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect Capitol from riots... riots didn't happened...
(Martin Luther Turner IV, a Salt Lake County resident, attends a pro-Trump protest at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Jan.17, 2021. Laura Seitz, Deseret News)
(Martin Luther Turner IV, a Salt Lake County resident, attends a pro-Trump protest at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Jan.17, 2021. Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Public safety officials say they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect the Utah State Capitol from riots before Inauguration Day, even though the riots never happened.  However, they say it was the right thing to do given the information they had at the time.

At one point, the Department of Public Safety estimated there would be at least 500 protesters at the Utah State Capitol on January 17th.  Colonel Michael Rapich estimates they spent $227 thousand to boost security around the complex on that day, alone.  They based their decision on what they saw both in Utah and in Washington D.C. on January 6th, and based on information they were receiving from all across the country.  That information reportedly showed Trump supporting groups were planning breaches at statehouses all over the U.S.

Rapich says, “A lot of that seemed to be associating groups we had seen both here in Utah and back at the nation’s Capitol.”

A lot of the information from national news outlets suggested protesters would come to Salt Lake City to specifically target our Capitol building.  Rapich says the news outlets weren’t the only ones reporting this.  Posts they saw on social media suggested the same thing.

“That was being corroborated,” he says.  ‘We had information both locally that we were generating through our sources, and we were getting information from our federal partners, as well.”

In the end, fewer than two dozen people came to the Capitol, and those that did protested peacefully.  Given what they were told, Rapich says the show of force at the complex was the right strategy.

“If we waited to see what happened, we definitely would not have had time to deploy the resources,” he says.

Public safety officials in Utah consulted with law enforcement from other parts of the country, and everyone reportedly came to the same conclusion.

He says, “We were very, very consistent, across the country, with the way pretty much every state was interpreting the same information, and, our preparations were very consistent with what other states were doing.”

Rapich says several things could have changed after protesters originally proposed to breach statehouses.  It’s possible the “chatter” they were seeing was wrong, plus, protest organizers seemed to have backed down, not wanting to be connected with more destruction.

 

Articles related to riots at the capitol:

National Guard allowed back into Capitol complex after lawmakers erupt at banishment to parking garage

Trouble at the Capitol? It has a long history

Small protest at Utah Capitol disperses as security officials look ahead to Inauguration Day

Today’s Top Stories

Safety

A screenshot of a facebook post made to the parents of Macie Hill....
Mark Jones

Father of girl who died in Kaysville parade is thankful for those who helped

An 8-year-old girl died Monday in an accident during the Kaysville Fourth of July Parade. Her father is thankful for all who assisted his daughter.
1 day ago
break car window dog...
Mark Jones

Dog dies after being left in hot car for more than an hour

A dog died Tuesday after being left in a hot car for more than an hour, according to Salt Lake County Animal Services.
1 day ago
A house in Spanish Fork was on fire late Monday night....
Mark Jones

Spanish Fork house catches fire after fireworks not properly extinguished

Officials said a house fire in Spanish Fork was a result of recently used fireworks not being disposed of properly. No serious injuries were reported.
1 day ago
Utah Highway Patrol stopped 4,937 vehicles over the Fourth of July weekend....
Mark Jones

Busy Fourth of July weekend for Utah Highway Patrol

In statistics released Tuesday, the Utah Highway Patrol says its Troopers made contact with 4,937 drivers over the Fourth of July weekend, making it a busy one.
1 day ago
Utah County Sheriff's Office badge....
Mark Jones

As one blaze is nearly contained, new Soldier Fire starts up

The Soldier Fire started up Tuesday in Utah County. According to Utah Fire Info, the blaze is near Highway 68 at milepost 15.
1 day ago
The Kaysville Fourth of July Parade is canceled after a medical emergency....
Kira Hoffelmeyer

8-year-old girl in critical condition after getting injured at Kaysville parade

KAYSVILLE, Utah — An 8-year-old has been critically injured during the Kaysville City Fourth of July parade. Kaysville Police say the girl was taken to a hospital for her injuries. This happened at 175 S. Main St in Kaysville. It’s unclear if the child fell off the float and was hit, or if she was […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
DPS spent hundreds of thousands in anticipation of riots at the Capitol, say it was the right thing to do