At the request of local authorities, Governor Tony Evers has authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to support local law enforcement authorities in Kenosha after officials there requested the Guard’s assistance to help ensure public safety.
“We are continuing to work with our local partners in the Kenosha area to ensure they have the state support they need, just as we have in the past,” said Governor Evers. “Our members of the National Guard will be on hand to support local first responders, ensure Kenoshans are able to assemble safely, and to protect critical infrastructure as necessary.”
Pursuant to Section 321.39(1)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes, the governor ordered into state active duty members of the Wisconsin National Guard deemed necessary to support to local law enforcement and first responders in Kenosha. As has been the case under previous missions, Guard members called to active duty may only be used to provide support to local law enforcement and to protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions necessary for the well-being of the community, and to provide support to first responders such as the Kenosha Fire Department.
The National Guard may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or impede the ability of the media to report on this situation.
“We work hand-in-hand with communities across Wisconsin to help ensure public safety, and this mobilization represents the culmination of months of planning and partnership with Kenosha,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general. “We are Citizen Soldiers and Airmen who live and work in the same communities as the citizens we serve, and we are always there for our neighbors when they need us.”
Local authorities requested Wisconsin National Guard assistance, and approximately 500 troops mobilized this week to state active duty in advance of an anticipated charging decision in the case of the officer-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin that occurred August 23, 2020.