Governor activates National Guard at State Capitol

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Governor Kevin Stitt activated 75 members of the Oklahoma National Guard to help law enforcement in case any protests at the State Capitol turn violent. 

“I want everyone to know we are prepared for the worst should anything occur,” Brig. Gen. Tommy Mancino with the Oklahoma National Guard said. 

The Guard will be assisting the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. 

This comes after the FBI warned of protests at all 50 state capitols.

“It was just in our best interest to make sure we had the people at the capitol to make sure, in the event of something happening, that we’re prepared for it,” Capt. Brian Orr with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. 

While officials say there are no specific, credible threats, they still want to be prepared.

“What you will see is you will see more police presence, you’ll see troopers, there won’t be any fencing, there won’t be anything like that, you will see an increased presence with the highway patrols, other than that, it’s business as usual for us,” Orr said. 

The National Guard says this level of response is unprecedented, and leaders hope everything will remain peaceful.

“You have the right to come and assemble and protest and we’ll protect your rights but we will also protect our state capitol, our property, and the citizens of Oklahoma,” Orr said.

“In my line of work, the absolute best outcome here is my soldiers and airmen have the most boring week of their lives. That would be perfect and that’s exactly what I’d want to see happen,” Mancino said. 

The Guard will be activated starting Saturday through Thursday, the day after the Inauguration. 

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