SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Biking around the Capitol, a game of football, all normal activities on a sunny Sunday met with a site you may expect to see in a movie.
“It’s a little disconcerting. It’s something you’re used to seeing when we do it to other countries, not so much here,” explained Paul Andrews.READ MORE: 5-Year-Old Boy With Cystic Fibrosis Recovers From COVID-19
Sunday those out for a stroll saw city streets lined with armed national guards members, bracing for violence ahead of the presidential inauguration.
Armed military and tankers Sunday surrounded not only the capital but buildings and areas that could be a potential target.
“They are everywhere you look,” Andrews said.
Sunday there were no reported acts of violence in downtown Sacramento related to political protest. 1,000 California National Guardsmen along with CHP and local law enforcement are standing guard around the clock from the Capitol to the Federal Court House, Sacramento County Jail, City Hall, DOCO, and other state and federal buildings.
“It’s good to know their presence is around, they are somewhere close and they are trying to offset any type of real tragic situations occurring,” said Sacramento resident, Cynthia Audrick.READ MORE: Gov. Newsom, Lawmakers Reach Deal To Get California Children Back In Classrooms
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The heavy presence comes after a warning from the FBI to all Capitol cities that they could be targets leading up to the inauguration.
“They are constantly moving and thinking and trying to outsmart, it’s kind of like a big chess game,” explained Retired California Highway Patrol Commissioner, Spike Helmick.
Helmick, who has more than three decades of experience in law enforcement, explains police and military are planning for every possible situation.
“There is a plan in writing for all these type of things, the key is which one are they going to have to implement,” he said.
Helmick believes images of rifles and rapid response alone can help discourage bad actors, a police presence that may not disappear quickly.MORE NEWS: After Lead Investor Backs Out Of MLS Deal, Sac Republic FC President Steps Down
“They are not about to enter into that kind of surrounding. The unfortunate thing is a lot of times those ill thoughts in their mind do not go away. So, that’s why I’m afraid there has to be a constant awareness from now on,” he said.