DeWine to send more Ohio National Guard members to DC ahead of inauguration

National Guard troops muster outside the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. Federal investigators are trying to figuring out how many military and police personnel may have taken part in the violent attack on the Capitol, a law enforcement official said on Thursday. (Jason Andrew/The New York Times)

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National Guard troops muster outside the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. Federal investigators are trying to figuring out how many military and police personnel may have taken part in the violent attack on the Capitol, a law enforcement official said on Thursday. (Jason Andrew/The New York Times)

Gov. Mike DeWine authorized more Ohio National Guard members for deployment to Washington, D.C., after the U.S. National Guard Bureau requested additional support.

In total, about 1,000 Guard members will travel to the nation’s capital to help federal authorities in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

ExploreThe Latest: Calls to governors for more Guard troops for DC

“Our Ohio National Guard is part of the overall defense forces in our country and has specific skills and equipment to aid the federal government in situations such as this,” said DeWine. “In addition to the citizen soldiers and citizen airmen headed to our nation’s capital, we have an ample number of troops who’ve been placed on state active duty to support local and state law enforcement as needed here in Ohio. Violence will not be tolerated.”

Defense officials were reaching out to governors, asking for more National Guard troops, the Associated Press reported. Officials Friday morning were still determining how many troops are needed, with the most recent number around 25,000. AP reported that officials had commitments of about 23,000 troops so far.

ExploreRELATED: Ohio National Guard activated, Statehouse to close ahead of Biden’s inauguration

DeWine announced Thursday that the Ohio Statehouse and state-run buildings in downtown Columbus would close Sunday through Wednesday ahead of reports of planned armed protests in all 50 states.

“Ohio National Guard personnel assigned to this mission are trained, equipped, and prepared to assist law enforcement authorities with protecting lives and property of citizens in Ohio while ensuring people’s rights to demonstrate peacefully,” said Ohio Adjutant General Maj. Gen. John Harris Jr.

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About 580 guard members have been activated to assist law enforcement as needed in Columbus and other communities in the state.

“We must always, and will always, respect the rights of peaceful protesters, however, the sad truth is that there are people in our country who want to turn peaceful protests into opportunities for violence,” said DeWine. “Just as we respect and will protect peaceful protesters, we will also just as vigorously resist violence. Violence will not be tolerated in Ohio.”

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