Thursday, January 8, 2009

What One Press Conference Giveth

DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier assured District residents that there will be ample security during inauguration weekend, noting that more than 10,000 National Guard troops will be on hand to back up civilian police, the Washington Post reported today.

That figure is at odds with figures released earlier this week putting the total number of military personnel at 11,500 -- 5,000 of whom will march in the Inaugural Parade in a ceremonial capacity and at least a modest percentage of whom will be from the Marines, Navy, Army, Coast Guard and Air Force.

Air Force General Victor Renuart, head of Northern Command, had previously put the number of National Guardsmen at 4,000, with 7,500 active-duty airmen, sailors, soldiers and marines either involved in the parade, or conducting various security functions, including intelligence gathering and combat air patrols, Roll Call reported on December 17. It is not clear whether Lanier was announcing a massive inauguration surge or merely misspoke.

According to the Post article, DC police officers will start 12-hour shifts on January 16, ensuring they will be grumpy and sleep-deprived on Inauguration Day. All of Washington's 4,000 police officers will be on deck for crowd control purposes, bolstered by an additional 4,000 officers from jurisdictions outside the District.

Chief Lanier downplayed expectations of gargantuan crowds, saying she expected one to two million people to arrive in Washington, DC on Inauguration Day. If DC's 580,000 residents and the large numbers of people arriving in the District before January 20 are taken into account, that figure meshes pretty well with the 1.5 to 3 million predicted earlier this week.

In any event, the inauguration will be televised. According to the Post article, inauguration officials have upped the number of Jumbotrons on the Mall from ten to twenty-two.

No comments:

Post a Comment