SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — The state spent $559,845 to hire 250 National Guard troops and another $75,370 to rent armored trucks and military equipment to patrol the Capitol Complex and surrounding historic landmarks during the days leading up to President Joe Biden’s inauguration, according to records filed by the Illinois Department of Military Affairs.
Governor J.B. Pritzker gave the order to activate the guard to secure the perimeter around the statehouse after the January 6th riots at the U.S. Capitol. The deployment ended without incident.
The FBI issued a bulletin warning about the potential for armed protests at all 50 state capital cities. However, a spokesperson for the Illinois State Police said they never received any evidence of a specific threat in Springfield.
“The Illinois National Guard is only used in emergencies after civilian first responder resources are exhausted,” Lieutenant Colonel Brad Leighton said. “We are proud to work with our law enforcement and emergency response partners in ensuring our State Capital is secure against domestic terrorism.”
Unlike the National Guard troops who were deployed to protect the U.S. Capitol grounds during the inauguration, the deployment to Springfield was considered state active duty and will not be reimbursed by the federal government. The bulk of the expenses went toward salaries for the soldiers who had to leave their regular jobs to activate for the mission.
The Office of the Architect of the Capitol also issued a contract to Core Construction worth $33,744 to install plywood on all the doors and windows around the first floor of the statehouse, bringing the total cost of securing the Capitol to at least $668,959, not accounting for any overtime expenses incurred by state or local law enforcement who assisted in overseeing the National Guard patrol.