Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf is sharing the news about a new task force being created to protect monuments, statues, and memorials.
In a press release on Wednesday, Wolf announced the creation of DHS’s Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT), which is “a special task force to coordinate Departmental law enforcement agency assets in protecting our nation’s historic monuments, memorials, statues, and federal facilities.”
“DHS is answering the President’s call to use our law enforcement personnel across the country to protect our historic landmarks,” Wolf said in a statement. “We won’t stand idly by while violent anarchists and rioters seek not only to vandalize and destroy the symbols of our nation, but to disrupt law and order and sow chaos in our communities.”
The announcement from the DHS follows President Donald Trump’s executive order, “Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence,” issued on June 26. The order directs the DHS, “as appropriate and consistent with applicable law,” to assist in protecting the monuments and property.
I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues – and combatting recent Criminal Violence. Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2020
In response, DHS said, “As a result, DHS created the PACT, which will conduct ongoing assessments of potential civil unrest or destruction and allocate resources to protect people and property.”
Wolf continued in his statement to address the situation ahead of Fourth of July weekend.
“As we approach the July 4th holiday, I have directed the deployment and pre-positioning of Rapid Deployment Teams (RDT) across the country to respond to potential threats to facilities and property,” he said, adding, “While the Department respects every American’s right to protest peacefully, violence and civil unrest will not be tolerated.”
The DHS’ announcement of the task forces follows after protests have erupted across the country for over a month, protesting racial discrimination and police brutality. Several statues have been torn down, and even set on fire, by protestors