MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers today authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to support local law enforcement in Dane County in response to civil unrest in Madison last night. The governor announced this morning he was prepared to activate the Wisconsin National Guard to protect state buildings and infrastructure.
“The protests in Madison last night resulted in serious injury to bystanders as well as significant damage to state property,” said Gov. Evers. “The Wisconsin National Guard will serve in a limited authorization meant to make sure people can exercise their First Amendment rights while ensuring the safety of members of the public and state buildings and infrastructure.”
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 Madison. Any 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 Madison 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.
Elements of the Wisconsin National Guard's Quick Reaction Force mobilized to state active duty Wednesday in response to a request for assistance from civil authorities in Dane County. The Quick Reaction Force consists of troops trained to respond to state requests for emergency assistance on short notice. These requests begin and end at the local level and the Wisconsin National Guard serves in a support role as a resource that is available during times of emergency. The Wisconsin National Guard troops will serve in a support role to local authorities and conduct a site security mission.