HARTFORD, Conn. – At the request of Gov. Ned Lamont, the Connecticut National Guard activated more than 100 of its members to assist local, state, and capitol law enforcement with the security of key infrastructure around the state capitol, Jan. 17 – 21, 2021.
The request to bolster security came in response to an advisory released by the FBI in the wake of the civil disturbance activities at the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. on Jan. 6.
“Our duty is to protect people, property, and people’s constitutional right to peacefully protest,” said Capt. David Pytlik, state public affairs officer for the Connecticut National Guard.
The FBI advisory didn’t mention any specific threats against Connecticut but state leadership decided to err on the side of caution as it was anticipated that upwards of 2,000 people could have shown at the capitol for demonstrations both for and against the results of the recent presidential election in which Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump.
“I don’t believe that you can over-prepare for this type of situation,” said Brain Foley, of the Department of Emergency Service and Public Protection, in an interview with News 8 WTNH. “I would much rather be here next Friday telling you that we over-prepared, as opposed to saying that we underprepared.”
In addition to the throngs of police and National Guard, barricades and checkpoints were established to limit the flow of vehicle traffic but were disassembled when only a trickling number of demonstrators showed.
Despite the lack of any significant events, the National Guard remained on duty until after Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
The Connecticut National Guard also deployed more than 300 personnel to the Nation’s Capital to provide logistical, security and medical support for the 59th presidential inauguration.
From the beginning of the National Guard’s support of COVID-19 operations in March 2020 through the middle of 2021, the Connecticut National Guard will have deployed more than half of its total force – both Army and Air – in support of domestic and federal contingency operations around the world.