DAYTON, OHIO (WDTN) – Across the country, state capitols have been preparing for potentially armed protests ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday. In a press conference Thursday morning, Governor Mike Dewine welcomed peaceful protests, condemning violence and rioting.
During the conference, Dewine signed a proclamation that will provide assistance from The Ohio State Patrol, National Guard, State Police, and back up guards in Columbus or anywhere else needing help within the next few days.
Dewine will also be sending over 700 Ohio National Guard members and around 400 communication personnel to D.C. to assist the U.S. Capitol, should there be any issues.
“We have unique capabilities. We have special personnel and special equipment that has been specifically requested by the federal government for us to deploy to Washington, and we have responded and done so,” said Governor Dewine.
Here in Ohio, The Columbus Statehouse will be closed Sunday through Wednesday, with employees working remotely. Dewine said legally protesters who have a concealed carry license can have guns on them outside the Columbus Statehouse, but they must not use them.
Governor Dewine and Ohio law enforcement also expressed concern for businesses near the Statehouse, encouraging protesters to not riot and loot any buildings. Dewine also asked people who don’t have to be out and about the next few days to stay home.
“It is time for us to observe the peaceful transition of power, and to remind ourselves what binds us together what holds us together as Americans,” said Governor Dewine.