Monday, January 19, 2009

56th Inauguration Security Concerns

With new realities of violence existing in the world, America prepares for an inauguration of our new president on January 20, 2009 with security concerns demanding unprecedented collaboration among law enforcement agencies.

The inauguration has been designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a National Special Security Event. Under this designation, the United States Secret Service assumes the role as the lead federal agency relative to the design and implementation of the operational security plan. This role will be complimented by a collaborative unity of effort with the Washington, D.C. Police Department, the U.S. Capitol Police and the U.S. Park Police along with a number of federal and local agencies.

"It will be the most security, as far as I’m aware, that any inauguration had." — Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff

As a sign of his appreciation for history, President-elect Barack Obama travelled to Washington, D.C. by train from Philadelphia. Abraham Lincoln also traveled to his inauguration by train and was smuggled under cover of darkness from one train station due to concerns of an assassination attempt.

According to published reports, following are a few facts and figures about inauguration security:

  • The Homeland Security Department says there is no credible threat of an attack but they are prepared for a wide range of potential catastrophes, including a chemical weapons attack.
  • U. S. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, a 25-year veteran, says Tuesday's inauguration is the biggest event he has been part of.
  • About 4,000 city police officers will be deployed along with 4,000 from 96 other law enforcement agencies across the country.
  • A total of 32,000 military personnel will be on duty or on standby.
  • Security measures include intensified patrols of the skies over the capital and rivers bordering the city, closing bridges and sealing off a large area of downtown to vehicles.
  • The Secret Service has unveiled a state-of-the-art armoured presidential limousine that Obama will use during his presidency. Its design is a closely guarded secret, but it is likely resistant to bomb and chemical attacks.
  • Every one of the hundreds of thousands of people expected to pack the inaugural parade route between the White House and Capitol Hill will be subjected to security screening, as will the 240,000 people attending the swearing-in ceremony.


United States Secret Service Click here to visit site
Reuters Fact Box Click here to visit site


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