Pritzker activates National Guard ahead of Biden inauguration

(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker activated 250 members of the Illinois National Guard ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration after warnings from the FBI.

The FBI warned about threats to state capital cities, according to a news release from the governor’s office. In response, Illinois State Police, Secretary of State Police and Illinois Emergency Management Agency are working with federal authorities, the governor’s office said.

Pritzker also sent 100 members of the Illinois National Guard to Washington D.C. at the he request of the U.S. Department of Defense. They will join about 200 Guard members already there.

“Following the violent siege at our nation’s capitol and reports from federal law enforcement on threats to state capitals, I am bringing all resources to bear to protect our residents and our democratic process,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Our exemplary members of the Illinois National Guard will be working closely with our State Police as well as local and federal authorities to keep our capital city safe. We will continue to be fully transparent with the public on any new information and the steps we are taking to respond.”

The Illinois National Guard won’t disrupt protesters. Guard members will help local authorities in enforcing street closures and designated perimeters, according to the governor’s office.

“Our Soldiers and Airmen come from every community across Illinois and each has sworn to protect their communities, their state and their nation,” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, the Adjutant General of Illinois and Commander of the Illinois National Guard. “We draw our strength from our communities and are proud to serve in our communities.”

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