MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama National Guard is conducting special training as civil unrest continues to plague many parts of the country.
There’s concern that there could be civil unrest following the outcome of the November election. The Alabama National Guard’s military police unit is around 300 strong.
The first amendment gives people the right to protest near anything, but the concerns come if the protest leads to violence, and that’s where the Alabama National Guard comes in.
“Our soldiers could be tasked with managing foot traffic or directing vehicle traffic or guarding specific key locations,” Col. Tom Tyler said. “Alabama and Arizona National Guard units are tapped for the mission to provide national assistance and will deploy based on proximity. There is no substitute for having a highly trained team capable of foam in these uncertain times.”
The unit’s first mission was to Birmingham back during the height of protests. Now local law enforcement agencies are preparing for any unrest following the election.
Meanwhile, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is confident Alabamians will accept the election results, but he can’t speak for other states. “We know that a number of administrative changes have occurred. We know a number of legislative changes have occurred, some of which have been done in the dark of night,” John Merrill said.
Merrill says if people don’t have confidence in the voting system they could potentially push back.
“It puts him in a prime position to want to figure out what’s going on and it puts them on edge and makes them want to push back,” Merrill said.
The National Guard response team effort is not tied to any specific situation or event.