KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With just hours until Election Day, local law enforcement are preparing in case the results lead to unrest in the metro.
“I guess if I had to say the way we’re preparing is we are preparing for the worst and we’re hoping for the best,” Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden said.
The fear of nationwide protests has led some businesses, like Lucky Brand Jeans on the Plaza, to board up their windows.
But local police said if there is unrest, they’ll be ready.
The Kansas City Police Department will have a full compliment of officers ready to respond all day Tuesday, according to Sgt. Jake Becchina. Across state lines, Hayden said his deputies will also be ready to assist.
“We’ve got probably a contingent of about 100 officers that are geared up and standing by in case they’re needed, and I hope we don’t have to use them,” he said.
Becchina said they’re confident that they will be able to handle unrest because they have experience after the protests this summer.
“We had 1,500 people right outside these doors one day in early June, and we responded in a positive way I thought and had a positive outcome,” he said.
Hayden says protests will be protected as long as they remain peaceful.
“That’s patriotic. I think for people to be heard we have to be listening. We have to be open to that. But we also have to keep the peace,” he said.
Law enforcement agencies are confident they can keep the peace, but voters that FOX4 spoke to seem to have their doubts.
“Hopefully everything is peaceful, but I doubt it,” Kansas City resident Antoinette Ramirez said.
She said she’s ashamed that this is where the country is.
“It should not come to that,” she said. “We should not have to do that.”
Avril Raulston, who came to America from England 20 years ago, said seeing businesses boarded up makes her said.
“The divisiveness we’ve seen recently unfortunately has led to businesses not feeling safe and people not feeling safe in the streets,” she said.
As always, local law enforcement are urging anyone who is concerned about their safety to call 911.