The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday will take place under extraordinary security against threats from armed far-right groups after the Jan. 6 storming of Congress by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.
More than 31,000 security personnel from the National Guard and law enforcement agencies will protect Washington. Much of the city’s core has been restricted or locked down ahead of the event, normally a day of public festivities and private balls. Most of these were already canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
While there will be a scaled back parade, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser has urged the city’s 684,000 residents to stay home, AirBnb has canceled local reservations and local businesses and monuments are shutting.
Here are details on the security measures.
As many as 25,000 National Guard troops will converge on the city for the inauguration with 10,000 in place by Saturday. The forces come from at least six states and the District of Columbia.
Some National Guard troops have been deputized as Capitol Police, which gives them the right to make arrests.
METROPOLITAN AND CAPITOL POLICE
The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department is expected to mobilize its entire force of more than 3,800 officers, as is the 2,200-strong U.S. Capitol Police.
The Secret Service, which provides protection for the president and other officials, is coordinating the massive security operation. It will be joined by at least 20 other law enforcement and public safety entities. The agency declined to provide the total number of security personnel involved.
Participating agencies include the National Park Service and security forces for several of the federal agencies based in Washington.
LOCAL STREETS AND TRANSPORTATION
Streets around the Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol Building will be mostly closed to through vehicle traffic from Saturday to Thursday. Much of downtown will be closed to traffic except to residents with identification, according to a Secret Service bulletin.
The Arlington Memorial Bridge across the Potomac River is shut to cars as is a tunnel under the river.
Metro stations in downtown Washington will be closed from Saturday to Thursday.
PARKS, MONUMENTS AND MUSEUMS
The National Park Service has closed the National Mall and iconic U.S. landmarks to visitors through at least Thursday.
The Mall includes the Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian museums and Washington Monument. The area around the White House has also been closed.
Delta and Alaska Airlines are banning passengers flying into D.C. from checking guns into their checked luggage.
Main Photo: Workers hang bunting from a media riser for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration parade outside the White House in Washington, DC, USA. EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO