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Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024
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Unparalleled security for inauguration

District to bring thousands of troops and police for Jan. 20

District security forces did not wait for the outcome of last week's presidential election to begin planning what is being heralded as an unprecedented security effort for the Jan. 20 inauguration, The Washington Post reported.

"There will be far more security and more police than four years ago," Chief of U.S. Capitol Police Terrance W. Gainer said, The Post reported Sunday. The Capitol Police are in charge of protecting the Capitol, where Bush will be sworn in.

Officials plan to use thousands of police officers from across the nation, new screening technology for inaugural guests and a military contingent that could provide up to 4,000 troops.

AU is closed on Inauguration Day to give students an opportunity to witness the event.

While the security will be tighter than ever, organizers are planning a traditional parade route down Pennsylvania Avenue. An inauguration committee will be chosen by President Bush to plan all the festivities.

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to flood the District for the inauguration, according to The Post. Along with them will be military personnel, FBI agents in full SWAT gear, snipers on rooftops and bomb-sniffing dogs. Air space defenses in the region have already been strengthened to protect against intruder aircraft, and sensors will be placed around the city to warn of biological or chemical attacks, The Post reported.

Approximately 2,000 out-of-town police will join with Metropolitan Police Department forces, which will be stationed every six to eight feet of the parade route. Plainclothes police officers and FBI agents will walk along with the crowd.

Those planning on going downtown should expect long lines at checkpoints. Enforced barriers and an increased number of checkpoints with metal detectors will make the going slow for visitors, much as they did for this year's Fourth of July ceremonies.

Since this is the first inauguration to take place since 9/11, security officials are extra sensitive to protecting an important symbolic moment in American democracy.

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