CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine held a special briefing on Thursday to discuss what is being done in advance for potentially armed protests tied to the presidential inauguration expected to take place in the state’s capital.
The governor was joined by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, as well as officials from the city’s police department, Ohio National Guard, and State Highway Patrol.
The FBI has issued warning for armed protests that could take place in Ohio and across the country in the days leading up to and on the date of President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
Earlier in the week, Gov. DeWine acknowledged those threats. He issued an initial order on Tuesday for the activation of 580 members of the Ohio National Guard.
During Thursday’s briefing, the governor announced the activation of approximately 500 additional Ohio National Guard troops, who will serve in a backup role to law enforcement and the State Highway Patrol.
“Violence will not be tolerated in Ohio, violence will not be tolerated anywhere,” Gov. DeWine said.
The director of the Ohio National Guard said chemical irritants have been approved to control any potential destructive demonstrations in order to have a better chance of avoiding a response using deadly force.
Several hundred of those who have been activated will be dispatched to Washington, D.C. for inauguration security.
To assist with the safety of certain Ohio employees, state office buildings in the Columbus area will be closed for a total of four days surrounding the presidential inauguration.