January 14, 2021 3:50 a.m.

Members of the Oregon National Guard have been activated to help protect the State Capitol in Salem, at the request of the Oregon State Police.

That is due to the potential for upcoming civil unrest and protests.

OSP Superintendent Terri Davie said they “…will continue to take a neutral role in ensuring Oregonians exercise their First Amendment rights”. Davie said “For the past seven months, your Troopers have responded throughout Oregon to various protests, unlawful assemblies and riots. Our goals have always been to protect people, protect people’s rights and to protect property”. She said the recent events at the Capitol in Washington D.C. and at the Oregon statehouse “…illustrate the need for law enforcement to be prepared and appropriately staffed for any large gatherings”.

An OSP release said the Oregon Army National Guard will be deployed as necessary. Deployment locations will not be made public. The release said OSP and the ONG routinely work and train together in response to Oregon’s challenges, including civil unrest, human remain recovery in the recent wildfire response, and safeguarding communities in times of crisis.

OSP Captain Tim Fox said with the Guard supplementing OSP ranks, they will be ready to ensure peaceful events and handle emergency situations.

The release said OSP does not discuss the specifics of potential threats or tactical plans made unless it is determined there is a public safety need to do so.