By: KDKA-TV News Staff
HARRISBURG (KDKA/AP) – An additional 1,000 Pennsylvania National Guard members have been activated to head to D.C. ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.READ MORE: Man Tasered, Arrested In Pittsburgh's South Side Following SWAT Situation Prompted By Threats Made Towards W. Va. Schools, Businesses
Gov. Tom Wolf announced the extra support Friday, bringing the total number of Pennsylvania National Guard supporting operations at the Capitol to about 2,000.
With 18,000 members in more than 80 armories and readiness centers, the state has the second-largest National Guard in the country.
“As the number of Guard forces from around the country continues to build in Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania is now sending an additional 1,000 of its Guard members to help ensure the safe and peaceful inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden,” said Gov. Wolf in a press release.
“By having one of the largest Guards in the nation, the Pennsylvania Guard has the trained resources needed to respond to concurrent missions within our commonwealth, across our nation and overseas. I am thankful for their selfless service, as well as the sacrifices of our service members’ families and their employers, especially during these unprecedented times in our nation’s history.”READ MORE: All Pennsylvania Residents Age 16 And Older Now Eligible For COVID-19 Vaccine
Responding to warnings of potentially violent demonstrations, governors across the nation are calling out National Guard troops, declaring states of emergency and closing their capitols to the public ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.
Though details remain murky, demonstrations are expected at state capitols beginning Sunday and leading up to Biden’s succession of President Donald Trump on Wednesday. State officials hope to avoid the type of violence that occurred Jan. 6, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, leaving a Capitol Police officer and four others dead.
The FBI has warned of the potential for violence at all state capitols and has said it is tracking an “ extensive amount of concerning online chatter, ” including calls for armed protests.
Governors across the country are sending thousands of National Guard troops to Washington, D.C., where the National Mall has been closed to the general public as part of an intense security effort. More than a dozen governors also have called out the Guard to protect their own state capitols and aid local law enforcement officers.MORE NEWS: Carnegie Library's Downtown Branch Preparing To Reopen Next Week
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