Gov. Stitt activating National Guard Reaction Force in preparation for possible protests

Gov. Stitt activating National Guard Reaction Force in preparation for possible protests

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (TNN) - The Oklahoma National Guard will be activating troops to assist the Oklahoma Highway Patrol at the State Capitol should any protests turn violent over the next week.

Governor Kevin Stitt made the announcement on Friday morning saying 75 members are being activated out of an abundance of caution.

“I support the right for Oklahomans to peacefully demonstrate, but we will not tolerate violence or damage to property,” said Gov. Stitt. “At the request of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the National Guard has been authorized to provide support as needed. These hardworking Oklahomans are our friends and neighbors who step up in times of need. Any violence and damage to property goes against the Oklahoma Standard and is a distraction designed to keep us from uniting together.”

The activation will last from Saturday, Jan. 16 to Thursday, Jan. 21.

Gov. Stitt’s office says there are no specific, credible threats in Oklahoma but a proactive response to intelligence shared by federal law enforcement agencies is happening across the country.

The National Guard keeps a Reaction Force year-round with the primary mission of responding to natural disasters but they fill a secondary role of assisting law enforcement when requested.

The last time they were deployed was last summer to assist law enforcement during President Trump’s rally that was held in Tulsa.

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