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D.C. Police, National Guard to Step Up Inauguration Security Detail

D.C. residents will start noticing a stepped-up police presence for inaugural events on Jan. 16, when the city’s cops will go to 12-hour shifts, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said. She added that more than 10,000 National Guard members will be assisting with security.

“Are we going to be safe? I feel very, very confident that we are,” she said at a briefing on inaugural security for hundreds of business people in the District.

Lanier said she expected 1 million to 2 million people to flock to Washington on the day of the inauguration. That’s significantly less than the 3 million to 5 million estimate floated early on by D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. But officials lately have scaled back such large projections. Officials said today they expect between 220,000 and 300,000 on the parade route along Pennsylvania Avenue. On the Mall, for the swearing in, officials have increased the number of Jumbotrons from 10 to 22.

Lanier also said the department has counted more than 300 unofficial inaugural events planned in the region. And D.C. bars, restaurants and nightclubs will be allowed to serve alcohol until 4 a.m.-- two hours later than usual -- and stay open around the clock for food service from Jan. 17-20.

Special Agent Andrew G. McCabe, of the counter-terrorism division of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, told the audience that the bureau had detected “no credible or specific threats” to the inauguration.

But he urged businesses to double-check their security plans in the wake of the November terrorist attack in Mumbai, India. He noted the terrorists had clearly surveilled their targets in advance to find vulnerabilities. More than 170 people were killed when the gunmen attacked two luxury hotels, a train station, a Jewish cultural center and other sites.

“Take a look at your information security. Be very careful about floor plan information,” he said.

He and Lanier encouraged businesses noticing anything strange to report the information to authorities.

By Mary Beth Sheridan

By David A Nakamura  |  January 8, 2009; 10:59 AM ET  | Category:  Crowds , Security
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Posted by: bs2004 | January 8, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

First, let me state that I supported and continue to support Obama. I wish him and those coming to support his inauguration and great and successful day.

Having said all that, I am saddened that the Secret Service, the Obama Transition Team, Homeland Security, and DC's own elected officials have been allowed to turn my city into an armed Concentration Camp all in the name of security.

According to these fools, I guess security means being in prison. What stupidity!

Posted by: NewEra | January 8, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Love or hate the incoming,
I wish peaceful and un-eventful shifts to the watch standers.

The long term weather looks iffy to oh my it's cold, so keep safe and warm
What is the point of earning the overtime, if you can not enjoy it later.
And this, like all things will pass

Posted by: commboss | January 8, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Question: Does the DC City Government get reimbursed by the Feds or the Obama Inauguration Committee for all these excess security costs above and beyond that which the city must normally bear?

It seem unfair to me (and I'm sure many others) that this city, as a local government, has to bear so many costs as a host to the nation's Federal governement. As I vaguely recall, the so-called "Federal Payment" is grossly inadequate to cover these unreimbursed costs.

It's time for the Federal Government to pay its fair share to the City Government; otherwise, I propose that the city stop providing all services (i.e. fire, police, etc) that benefit Federal activities!

Posted by: SWadvocate | January 8, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I guess I just don't understand why the Secret Service is so determined to put a choke hold on our city during the inaugural. I can't imagine what would happen if there truly was a disaster. We'll all be like rats in a cage.

Posted by: PGirl | January 8, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

There isn't enough money in the world to entice me to go to this over inflated event. The SS is a pain in the ass when its an idiot in a simple motorcade, let alone something of the magnitude. I wonder why there is a deficit??? Your tax dollars at work!!! What a crock of ___.

Posted by: Informed-1 | January 8, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

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