As Illinois communities deal with protests, civil unrest and looting concerns, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Monday that additional National Guard members and Illinois State Police troopers will be deployed throughout the state to help deal with the unrest.
According to Pritzker, an additional 250 members of the Illinois National Guard will be activated to “support various jurisdictions throughout the state in their work to protect communities.”
The Guard members are in addition to the 375 soldiers who were already placed on State Active Duty earlier this week in an effort to help Chicago police, per the request of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
In addition, 300 additional ISP troopers will also be deployed to help local law enforcement agencies deal with looting concerns and other law enforcement matters.
“We have to take care of our communities and our people, and for that reason, we will continue to strategically deploy Illinois State Police and the National Guard as we work to protect Illinoisans and the First Amendment rights of peaceful protesters,” Pritzker said. “We cannot allow those who have taken advantage of this moment to loot and smash to also steal the voices of those peacefully expressing a need for real meaningful change.”
The moves come as part of a “Disaster Proclamation” by the governor, allowing him to direct resources and manpower to communities impacted by the disturbances. Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Macon, Madison, Sangamon and Will counties are all covered by the proclamation.
The Guard will be deployed with extra protective equipment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the governor.
Personnel from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and the State Emergency Operations Center will also be deployed throughout the state to provide assistance through the disaster proclamation.