MONTGOMERY, Ala (WIAT) — Following the violent attack on the US Capitol two weeks ago, state capitols around the country were on high alert leading up to today’s presidential inauguration, including here in Alabama.
The Capitol building in Montgomery has been under increased security for several days and that security was beefed up even more for Inauguration Day.
But despite threats of violence around the country, the day turned out to be subdued in Montgomery.
Pastor Paul Hughes traveled from Birmingham to help form a prayer barrier on the steps of the Capitol.
“We didn’t know if there was going to be a crowd here today. Thank God there isn’t. But even just two people who are standing in the gap, right, putting prayer on the streets between opposing forces is what Jesus did on the cross,” Hughes said.
Justin Todd is the pastor at River City Chruch, which sits just a couple of blocks away from the Capitol. He says the heavy police presence now stands in stark contrast to what it would have meant decades ago in Montgomery.
“You go back 70 years ago there was the presence of state troopers and police dogs and the history of that on Dexter Avenue. The historical significance. This time that they are here is on the opposite foot,” Todd said.
For some of those who work in downtown Montgomery, the increased security brings with it a sense of safety.
“This is the first time in my 27 years seeing anything to this matter. But you know whatever it takes,” said Mongomery resident Latasha Rogers.
Along with the extra security, many local and state workers were asked to work from home due to any potential threat of violence.