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Work begins to put up $5 million security upgrades around Georgia State Capitol

The first panels of a fence could be seen being installed on Wednesday.

ATLANTA — Work began Wednesday to put up a new $5 million fence and other security improvements around the Georgia State Capitol Building in Atlanta.

The 8-foot tall fence was approved this week by the Georgia Building Authority, whose chairman is Gov. Brian Kemp. The first panels of the new fence could be seen being installed by workers this morning at the capitol building.

In its documentation of this week's meeting, the Georgia Building Authority described the $5 million going to "the construction of a perimeter fence and security improvements around the Capitol building."

It comes just a few weeks after protesters, demonstrating after the announcement that no officers would be charged directly for the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, gathered outside the capitol building and were met by a heavy law enforcement presence. 

Atlanta Police announced 11 arrests for people who were said to have tried to climb onto a SWAT vehicle, but there was no damage reported to the Capitol itself.

At one point, tear gas was deployed and arrests were made during the most tense moments of the demonstration.

A small fence already surrounded the grounds of the Capitol, which has stood since 1889. 

A completion date for the new fence has not been set, yet. The hope, according to a capitol police spokesman, is that the fence will allow the National Guard to end their deployment "where the allocated manpower at the Capitol Police Division will be sufficient to further protect the buildings on Capitol Hill."

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