Gov. Wolf Signs Emergency Declaration to Assist Municipalities During Protests

May 30, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf this evening signed a disaster emergency declaration using his authority to provide all necessary assistance to municipalities as they respond to the escalation of protests in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

“People have every right to speak out and demonstrate, but it’s unacceptable to take advantage of protests to incite violence, harm others and destroy property,” Gov. Wolf said. “This declaration authorizes the commonwealth and its agencies to assist municipalities in their response to de-escalate violence and keep our communities safe.”

“I appreciate Governor Wolf for heeding our request for additional state support,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “This emergency declaration will help Philadelphia access resources and police support from other jurisdictions, including other states, as we manage the impact of this weekend’s demonstrations.”

“Pittsburgh has long been a home to constitutionally protected protests and will continue to be one — but we will not allow others to hijack the goodwill of our community to spread needless destruction, fear and violence. I thank the governor for this extra tool to keep our neighbors safe,” Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto said.

Earlier this evening, Gov. Wolf announced the expanded activation of the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). That activation, combined with this declaration, authorizes PEMA to direct emergency operations in Allegheny, Dauphin and Philadelphia counties, allocating all resources and personnel as deemed necessary to cope with the situation.

In addition, the declaration allocates $2 million in unused appropriated funds to PEMA for Emergency Management Assistance Compact expenses related to this emergency, to be increased or decreased as conditions require, and transfer up to $4 million in unused appropriated funds, to be increased or decreased as conditions require, to the PEMA for expenses authorized and incurred related to this emergency. Any unused funds will be returned to the General Fund.

The declaration authorizes the Adjutant General of the PA National Guard and the Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner to activate personnel and use resources as necessary to alleviate the danger to public health and safety caused by this emergency.

Read the full proclamation here.

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