JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Missouri National Guard sent 300 troops to Washington, D.C. on Thursday amid nationwide civil unrest after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
Missouri National Guard Adjutant General Levon Cumpton said the guard would be providing mutual aid. Gov. Mike Parson said Missouri would not be paying for its service there amid the budget issues the state is already facing.
Watch a replay of the briefing in the player below. The stream started late because of coverage of the George Floyd memorial service.
General Cumpton said the troops' mission will be "critical infrastructure protection" supporting local law enforcement in the Washington, D.C. area.
The 300 troops are in addition to the 1,000 active-duty troops in the state for the civil unrest, and 1,000 assisting in the response to COVID-19
General Cumpton didn't have an exact date for how much longer troops will be active.
"We'll be in it till we are no longer needed," Cumpton said. "As I mentioned, we would like for it to end soon but we are going to stay with the effort as long as necessary and appreciate everyone's support and getting back to very peaceful time here in the state of Missouri."
Parson said he met with leaders and activists in Kansas City on Wednesday to talk about the next steps and policy changes. This is after he was in St. Louis on Monday and Columbia on Tuesday talking about similar changes.
In a COVID-19 related update, the governor said he continues to be pleased by the numbers, citing lower hospitalizations.
Rob Dixon, the director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, announced new recommendations on how communities across the state should use CARES Acts funding.
Both the governor and Dixon said investing in testing will be crucial to ensure Missouri's economy gets back on its feet.
"We know finding those positive cases and how they are connected helps to protect the entire community in our state," Dixon said. "So, I want to thank those employees who are taking those proactive measures to test, and it's employers like these that will lead recovery and help us become more resilient as a state."
The governor said communities and local leaders should look for innovative ways to spend those federal dollars, including funding hospitals, expanding access to broadband and telehealth services, and other long term solutions.