HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed a disaster emergency declaration to help the cities responding to the escalation of protests in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
“People have every right to speak out and demonstrate, but it’s unacceptable to take advantage of protests to incite violence, harm others and destroy property,” Gov. Wolf said. “This declaration authorizes the commonwealth and its agencies to assist municipalities in their response to de-escalate violence and keep our communities safe.”
Gov. Wolf also announced the expanded activation of the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
This will allow PEMA to direct operations to Allegheny, Dauphin, and Philadelphia counties.
“Pittsburgh has long been a home to constitutionally protected protests and will continue to be one — but we will not allow others to hijack the goodwill of our community to spread needless destruction, fear, and violence. I thank the governor for this extra tool to keep our neighbors safe,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said.
The declaration allocates $2 million in unused funds for expenses related to the protests.
The declaration authorizes the Adjutant General of the PA National Guard and the Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner to activate personnel and use resources as necessary to alleviate the danger to public health and safety caused by this emergency.
The full proclamation can be read on the commonwealth’s website.