CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday signed a disaster proclamation for nine counties in Illinois to expedite the use of state resources, personnel and equipment to help municipalities keep residents safe from looters and rioters.
The counties include Champaign, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Macon, Madison, Sangamon and Will. The Governor also activated an additional 250 members of the Illinois National Guard to support various jurisdictions throughout the state in their work to protect communities.
“We have to take care of our communities and our people, and for that reason, we will continue to strategically deploy Illinois State Police and the National Guard as we work to protect Illinoisans and the First Amendment rights of peaceful protesters,” Pritzker said. “We cannot allow those who have taken advantage of this moment to loot and smash to also steal the voices of those peacefully expressing a need for real, meaningful change. This anger doesn’t come out of nowhere – it’s born of decades and centuries of systemic racism and injustice. That’s what all of us have to recognize and that’s where our work begins.”
Pritzker also ordered the Illinois State Police to provide an additional 300 troopers to support local municipalities tonight into tomorrow. This follows the activation of 375 Illinois National Guard soldiers to fulfill a request for assistance from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot last weekend to help with street closures.
In addition to the soldiers from the Illinois National Guard and troopers from the Illinois State Police, The State Emergency Operations Center is monitoring operations throughout the state and fulfilling requests from local governments. Personnel from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and various mutual aid networks are actively working to assist.
All state personnel deployed for operations, as well as soldiers on Active Duty will be outfitted with personal protective equipment, such as face shields and masks, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On Sunday, IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau ordered the closure of all Community Based COVID-19 Testing Sites in Illinois in order to protect staff and those utilizing these services. A reopen date will be announced as soon as determined.