WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — In the past, throngs of Americans would flock to Washington D.C. for the presidential inauguration but amid the coronavirus pandemic and heightened tensions in the wake of the U.S. Capitol riot, there will be more partitions than participants.
“There’s probably more than 60,000 feet of anti-scale fence in D.C. alone this week,” Ben Shipper, owner of Arx Perimeters said.
Shipper has been charged with securing the entire Capitol for inauguration week. Shipper said everything is protected from the Capitol down to the Lincoln Memorial.
“You will see police officers from Baltimore, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Denver, and San Francisco also in our system throughout the week,” Paul Wiedefeld, General Manager and CEO, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said.
The National Guard now stand as sentries at virtually every intersection between the Capitol and the White House is both a local and federal effort. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called for reinforcements Friday.
“In light of what happened and in light of the fact that the inauguration is coming soon I have asked retired Lt. General Russel Honoré to lead an immediate review of security infrastructure interagency process and command and control,” Pelosi said.
Lt. General Honoré, best known for his post-Katrina command in New Orleans, will have all of the assets of law enforcement at the ready.
“We have special agents, explosive specialists, bomb technicians, canine units, and our special response team all assigned and deployed in and around Washington D.C. working with secret service cabinet police and our MPD partners,” Ashan Benedict, Washington Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said.
All the while, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser urged people not to come to Washington for Inauguration Day.
“We want everybody to enjoy it and enjoy it right in their own states, in their own living rooms, and with their own families. We know that this is the right request for our public safety and our public health,” Bowser said Friday.
By Inauguration Day, there will only be two ways to get in and out of the state of Virginia. The Arlington bridge has already been closed.
The Department of Defense said Friday they’ve increased the number of military approved to be in the district to 25,000.