Utah National Guard members are prepared to assist civil agencies in Salt Lake City to protect life, property and the right to peacefully assemble and protest.
Gov. Spencer Cox declared a state of emergency Jan. 14, 2021, ahead of planned protests at the Utah Capitol this weekend, and requested the Utah National Guard stand ready to assist Utah Highway Patrol and other civil authorities.
“In light of expected protests at our state Capitol, we’re grateful to our National Guard personnel for their help in ensuring a safe environment this weekend in Salt Lake City,” said Gov. Cox. “We fully support the constitutional right to peaceably assemble, and we hope those who protest will respect people and property as they make their voices heard.”
Rep. Doug Sagers, R-Tooele, described the view from his capitol office window on Monday evening.
“I am used to seeing Utah Highway Patrol Troopers providing security at the State Capitol and often will stop and thank them for their service,” he said. “Today after working for several hours in my office I stood to look out my office window overlooking the Salt Lake Valley. The view seemed surreal to see armed troops patrolling the Capitol grounds.”
The Utah Air National Guard’s 151st Security Forces Squadron and the Utah Army National Guard’s Reaction Force are prepared to support Salt Lake City law enforcement agencies and may be seen conducting training and rehearsals throughout the weekend.
“The Utah National Guard has a proven history of responding promptly and professionally to a wide range of domestic missions. Our top priority is to protect life and property in support of our fellow citizens,” said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Turley, adjutant general, Utah National Guard. “The Utah National Guard maintains its readiness to respond to any domestic emergency, and are prepared to support our state and nation as long as needed.”