BOSTON

Boston Businesses Board Up in Preparation for Potential Protests on Election Night

Workers were boarding up parts of the Prudential Center Thursday ahead of Tuesday's election in case demonstrations take a turn

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As the city of Boston gears up for the election, businesses are preparing for the unrest that could come with it.

Crews were boarding up parts of the Prudential Center Thursday in case demonstrations take a turn. According to an email sent to tenants by the property management company, they are taking the precautions to "mitigate impacts" of any criminal activity or disturbances associated with the election.

The email, sent by Boston Properties and obtained by NBC10 Boston, said they also plan to increase security around the building's entrances, office lobbies and retail common areas. The temporary barricading and boarding will be in select locations on Huntington Avenue and Boylston Street to prevent looting and property damage.

Some businesses are boarading up in preparation for protests on Tuesday.

NBC10 Boston reached out to Boston Properties for comment about the precautions, but did not hear back.

"Hopefully, there's no real need for it, but better safe than sorry, I guess. We have seen how quickly things can get out of control," Andrew Snyder said while watching the boards go up on Huntington Avenue.

The Prudential Center will also work with Boston Police and the Regional Intelligence center to monitor activity in the neighborhood on election night. Massachusetts State Police plan on increasing patrols and will be standing by at multiple locations, including the state house, to assist local departments.

George Price, a former federal agent and Boston Police officer, said he is not surprised to see the Prudential be proactive.

"I just think people are at their breaking points, and I think you are going to see problems across the country, no matter how the election turns out," Price said.

With political and racial tensions high, he is expecting a heavy police presence across the state. He said the response to any unrest will be coordinated and careful, given the protests over use of force that have happened across the country.

"I think you're going to see a much calmer approach, but if things get out of hand, police are going to do what they have to do to protect lives first and property second," Price said.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said election security is a top priority. He's anticipating protests around Election Day but expects everyone to be respectful.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Thursday that there’s no known threats to the city or state on Election Day, but his administration is planning for potential unrest.

“What is kind of alarming to me is that the preparation that we’re putting into this election we’ve never had to put into an election before," Walsh said. "I certainly wasn’t asked in 2016, 'What’s your safety plan for Election Day?'”

Election security is a top priority at ballot dropboxes, early voting sites and at the polls on Tuesday.

No matter what happens on election night, there’s a likelihood people may take to the streets to celebrate or protest,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts.

She said the ACLU will have volunteers out before and after the election.

Massachusetts State Police said they are always monitoring intelligence and will have extra troopers out on Election Day, and after, to help where needed.

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