BOSTON (Mass.gov) – At the request of the federal government and the National Guard Bureau, Governor Baker approved an order that will activate up to 500 Massachusetts National Guard personnel for deployment to Washington, DC, where they will support the District of Columbia National Guard during next week’s inaugural activities. The personnel are expected to deploy to our nation’s capital in the coming days.
Here in Massachusetts, the Baker-Polito Administration remains in constant communication with local, state, and federal law enforcement officials to monitor intelligence and safeguard the Commonwealth. The Administration is not aware of any specific threats to Massachusetts at this time and continues to work with partner agencies to maintain the multi-layered security plans in place to protect residents and centers of government.
Out of an abundance of caution and in the wake of the violence at the nation’s capital, Governor Baker signed an additional order activating up to 500 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to support state and local law enforcement within the Commonwealth.
The order makes Guard personnel available in the event that municipal leaders require assistance to maintain public safety while protecting the exercise of First Amendment rights. National Guard personnel are deployed only at the request of, and in coordination with, the communities seeking support.
The Massachusetts National Guard’s diverse and highly-trained members have a track record of success supporting civilian authorities during and after emergencies, and its units frequently train side-by-side with state and local first responders, making them well-suited for in-state operations. Personnel drawn from the Guard’s military police units undergo federally-accredited police training and receive additional instruction on Massachusetts police training standards. When assisting a local police department, they use that department’s policies, radio frequencies, etc., whenever possible.
Baker: Mass. finalizing plan to send National Guard troops to DC
BOSTON (SHNS) – Massachusetts will be sending National Guard troops to Washington, D.C. to assist with security for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, which is being planned for next week in the wake of a violent assault on the Capitol.
With the FBI and other law enforcement agencies warning about the risk of further violence, Baker said Massachusetts has agreed to send reinforcements to the capital, and would be providing more details later Thursday.
“We will be sending Guard personnel to Washington, D.C. as part of the force that they’re putting together for the inaugural festivities,” Baker said Thursday at a press conference on small business relief held a North End restaurant.
Baker wouldn’t say how many troops would be headed to the capital, but said Wednesday that the request from the federal government had been for a “a few hundred” members of the state’s National Guard unit. “We’re just putting the finishing touches on what we’re planning to do,” Baker said.
Federal law enforcement has also warned that state capitols and government buildings could be targets for violence in the lead-up to the inauguration next Wednesday, according to the New York Times, but state officials, including Baker, have said there are no known threats against the State House or elsewhere in Massachusetts.
Baker has condemned the attack on the Capitol by a mob of President Trump supporters and backed Wednesday’s second impeachment of Trump, who he has blamed for spreading lies about the outcome of the 2020 election. “I think it’s incredibly important for the country that this transition be as smooth and uneventful as possible,” he said.