Preparations for Inauguration Begin Under ‘Elevated’ Security

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The Capitol Grounds, Jan. 7, 2021. E. O'Gorek/CCN

Preparations for the inauguration have already begun with elevated security measures and nearly 20,000 soldiers requested to maintain order in the District.

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) First District Commander Morgan Kane presented on neighborhood safety at Tuesday night’s meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B. Kane said it was her first appearance at a public meeting since the Capitol Building was attacked by insurrectionists Wednesday, Jan. 6.

Kane said that President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in at the Capitol. However, she said, most other events will likely be virtual. Much of the mall is being fenced off beginning Wednesday morning, and the Capitol Grounds, Supreme Court and White House are already closed off.

Fencing and physical barriers will be installed throughout the designated White House Zone (19th to 14th and K Street to Constitution Ave) beginning  Wednesday, January 13 at 10:00 a.m. On Thursday, January 14, beginning at 8:00 a.m., all parking garages and loading docks in this zone will be blocked off and access will be restricted. Any vehicle remaining in any parking garage or loading dock after 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, will have to remain in place until the Inauguration concludes.

59th Presidential Inauguration Street Closures

MPD reports the following road closures are in effect until further notice due to preparation for the 59th Presidential Inauguration. • Independence Avenue between Washington Avenue, SW, and Second Street, SE. • Constitution Avenue between First Street, NW, and Second Street, NE. • East Capitol Street between First and Second Streets. • 18th Street at Constitution Avenue, NW • 17th Street at Independence Avenue, SW • 11th Street at Independence Avenue, SW • 12th Street at Independence Avenue, SW • 7th Street at Madison Drive, NW • 7th Street at Jefferson Drive, SW

The road closures are subject to change on the surrounding streets around the White House, the National Mall and the US Capitol – to include parts of Downtown DC. Watch for Metropolitan Police Department, US Park Police, and US Capitol Police directions.

Kane said that Secret Service will take over operations around the Capitol. The US Capitol and state capital buildings have been named as targets by armed persons, she added. “We are expecting those armed protesters coming to the Capitol Building,” Kane said, adding that MPD has requested 14,000 additional National Guard. MPD has requested 5,500 DC National Guard as well as partner agencies.

“Beginning tomorrow morning (Wednesday), the footprint will be larger than it has been in the past,” Kane said. The Capitol Police will expand their perimeter to include all 16 buildings over which they have jurisdiction. Neighbors on the capital who live near those buildings and within the perimeter may have to show identification to get into the confines, Kane said.

Police are still looking for the suspect who placed pipe bombs near the Republican National Committee (RNC) and Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters and encouraged residents to share the photograph of the suspect wildly. Those bombs were discovered Wednesday afternoon, one in the backyard of a Hill resident, and successfully detonated without harm.

Residents are urged to stay home where possible. Security planning is still fluid, Kane added, urging people to follow @dcpolice on Twitter for updates, and to subscribe to alerts from DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA).

Sign up for AlertDC: Visit Alertdc.dc.gov to sign up to receive alerts through email or text messaging/SMS on your cell phone. Text INAUG2021 to 888-777 for updates on public safety, street closures and transit updates throughout inauguration day.

The FBI is looking for individuals who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at fbi.gov/USCapitol.