A look at strategy, preparation behind inauguration security
UPDATED 2:05 PM PT – Saturday, January 9, 2021
Officials said they are certain security around the coming inauguration ceremony will be more than adequate to handle any and all eventuality.
The recent incident on Capitol Hill reportedly had inauguration planning teams reviewing their plans for the event as well as improving security measures on the Capitol grounds.
A spokeswoman for the ‘Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies’ said they’re working on a “thorough assessment of the inaugural platform” and other spaces used during the ceremony. Security forces could also be seen putting up unscalable fencing around the Capitol area this week.
In a statement, the Secret Service said the “safety and security of all those participating” in the ceremony is of the “utmost importance.” They added partners in the event have been working for more than a year to anticipate all possible contingencies.
On Thursday, the secretary of the army assured thousands of troops from surrounding states will be on hand for the event.
“The entire D.C. National Guard has been mobilized,” Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy stated. “We have also received the support from the state of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and New York. There will be 6,200 guardsmen in total by the weekend here.”
Officials said keeping a potentially angry mob at bay is their “highest priority.” Hundreds of additional police officers will also be augmenting the D.C. Metro Police presence around the Capitol. From Columbus, Ohio to Omaha, Nebraska police departments across the nation are lending officers toward the security efforts.
“The officers that were selected are part of a group that is specially trained to handle crowd situations,” Omaha Police Department Captain John Sokolik said.” The preparations for this extend back into the early parts of last year, so we’ve been working on building this group to go to D.C. for the better part of nine months.”
Authorities said they’re prepared to handle around a million people attending the ceremony, however, the number isn’t expected to be nearly that large due to coronavirus restrictions.
The inauguration is slated to take place on January 20.