ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — As President Joe Biden was sworn in as the next commander-in-chief, security was heightened not only in Washington, D.C., but also at state houses across the country.

In Annapolis Wednesday, law enforcement officers near the Maryland State House stood out as few people ventured out in the area.

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Since the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, officials expressed concerns that state capitols could become targets for violent extremists angry about the election’s outcome.

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Annapolis Police Chief Edward Jackson told WJZ local officers are on patrol with support from state police and even help from federal law enforcement.

Security is increased at the Maryland State House in Annapolis on January 20, 2021, as President Joe Biden is sworn in. Credit: C.J. Alderson/WJZ

“We want them to know when they see extra patrols that it’s for their own security, and I wanted it done in a way that it didn’t occupy the city,” he said.

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The stepped up security is intentional and not unique to Annapolis.

“We welcome you to Annapolis, but we don’t welcome you if you come here to do harm,” Jackson said.

Visitors and residents of Annapolis noticed the increased police presence, saying it’s a shame it has come to this.

“I think the security is definitely a necessary precaution, but I don’t see what happened in D.C. happening here just because this is a statehouse instead of it being anything on the federal level,” Annapolis resident Brandon Kirk said.

“We saw that they had the state troopers stationed in the roundabout-type areas and then we’ve seen a lot of police cars driving through,” Kent Island resident Jessica Arnold said.

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Jackson said there is no direct threat to the city, but there will be a heightened police presence even after inauguration day.

Ava-joye Burnett