AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Gov. Jared Polis visited with Colorado Army and Air National Guard members before they deployed for Washington, D.C. The guard members will help patrol the area ahead of and on Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.
The goal is to avoid another violent riot similar to the one on Jan. 6, when supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.READ MORE: 'An Insult To Hunters Who Follow The Rules': Iniki Kapu Banned From Colorado, Most Of U.S., After Poaching Spree
A Capitol Police officer and four others died in the riots.
More than 25,000 guard members are expected this week.
Demonstrations are expected at state capitols on Sunday, Jan. 17 and in the days leading up to the President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“On behalf of a grateful state of Colorado, I want to thank you for agreeing to go on what is really, in many ways, the most important mission that we possibly have, and that’s protecting our republic,” Polis told the guard members. He also thanked the members who have helped Colorado with its response to the coronavirus pandemic.READ MORE: 'They Left Her For Dead': 14 Year Old & 18 Year Old Charged With Murder Of Pamela Cabriales On Colfax
Many governors were willing to send extra troops to the nation’s capital, but they made it clear their own state capitals were their priority.
In a statement to CBS4, Polis’ office says the Capitol building in Denver would be protected.
“Governor Polis is taking this action at the request of the Washington, D.C. National Guard. Colorado’s National Guard is made up of 5,600 brave and dedicated members which ensures that the State will continue to have protection at home while some of our members are sent to Washington. Historically, the CONG, along with the other 53 States and territories, send support to the District of Columbia National Guard for the inauguration to provide security for the peaceful transition of political power.”
“There were real life challenges the last year. Some of you worked on COVID response, some of you worked on the wildfire response and the coordination of evacuations and other tasks,” Polis said. “You’re going to play a critical part in a time when our nation is in great need.”MORE NEWS: 'Help Me!': Snowmobiler Counts Blessings As Stranger Finds Him Buried
Federal law enforcement agencies say the cost of securing next week’s inauguration is close to $35 million.