Gov. Tony Evers authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to support Wisconsin’s Capitol Police on Monday, Jan. 11. Members of the Wisconsin National Guard will mobilize to state active duty (not federal) to support safety and security efforts at the State Capitol in Madison.
Following a protest and destructive riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, which disrupted Congress’ certification of the electoral college votes, the FBI said in a bulletin that armed protests were planned from this weekend through Wednesday, Jan. 20, according to published news reports. The protests, at the nation’s capitol and all 50 state capitols, were happening in opposition to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20, spurred on by unproven claims from President Donald Trump of broad election fraud.
Ahead of expected protests and possible unrest, Wisconsin’s capitol had ground-level windows boarded up, published news reports said.
The Wisconsin National Guard will serve in a support role to local authorities and conduct a site security mission. The troops are part of the Wisconsin National Guard Reaction Force, which consists of troops trained to respond to requests for assistance on short notice.
“Once again, our state has asked our citizen soldiers in the Wisconsin National Guard to answer the call to keep our state, its citizens, and its institutions safe,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general. “We ask a lot of our troops, who must take leave from their civilian employers and their families, and I’m proud of the sacrifices they make on a daily basis to serve their fellow citizens.”
The mobilized troops will serve in a state active duty status in support of the Capitol Police. To protect operational security, the Wisconsin National Guard will not discuss troop numbers, movements, timelines, equipment, tactics or procedures.