ILLINOIS, (Ill.) — Gov. JB Pritzker has issued a disaster declaration for some counties in downstate Illinois and called upon more National Guard members and Illinois State Police officers to stand ready to assist cities across the state in the wake of protests that have led to looting and civil unrest.
The new disaster declaration — which follows a similar one made Sunday for Cook County — includes Sangamon, Macon, Champaign and Madison counties, as well as Cook, DuPage, Kane and Kendall.
After calling upon 375 National Guard members on Sunday to assist with protests in Chicago, Pritzker said today that an additional 250 have been readied to assist with other cities in the state.
An additional 300 ISP troopers outside of its patrol divison have also been called upon to help other cities outside of Chicago. Their focus will be on “preventative measures and supporting local law enforcement,” Pritzker said.
ISP Deputy Director David Burns said that ISP has identified “several missions” for the additional officers already.
“We have a need from local law enforcement, local municipalities, for assistance with traffic control,” Burns said. “We are also going to be using our officers to do some of the calls for service that we have right now. There are investigative components that we’re going to be using our additional officers for as well.”
Some of those officers will be dispatched to the Champaign Police Department, Burns said.
Champaign’s Market Place Mall and stores across Prospect Avenue were among the scenes of civil unrest Sunday. All of the Champaign Police Department was “mobilized”; support from Urbana, Mahomet, UIUC and other departments was requested. Twenty-seven people were arrested in the wake of looting that continued into Sunday night.
“We have to take care of our our people,” Pritzker said. “And for that reason, we will continue to flexibly deploy Illinois State Police and the National Guard strategically as we work with the dual purpose of protecting Illinoisans, as well as the First Amendment rights of peaceful protesters.”
This is a developing story that will be updated.