December 20, 2016
Written by Lorra B.
The day is fast approaching, Jan. 20, 2017, when President-elect Donald Trump will assume the helm becoming President of The United States. When he does he will be protected by 13,000 of the world’s finest in uniform.
At the inauguration Trump will be surrounded by 8,000 National Guard members and 5,000 active-duty troops from around this great nation.
Commander of the District of Columbia National Guard, Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, stated, “If something goes bad, it’s up to the law-enforcement agency to make the first move. We look forward to having a peaceful transition of power on the 20th of January. And we will continue to work with our state and interagency partners to make sure that we have a peaceful transition of power.”
According to a report from Army News Service, the tradition of troops providing protection at presidential inaugurations began in 1789 and have continued to this day.
Schwartz, The Daily Caller reported, stated, “…guardsmen will be there to help ensure there’s a smooth transition of power, but it’ll be up to local law enforcement to make the first move in the event of a crisis. That local law enforcement includes the Metropolitan Police Department, the Capitol Police and the U.S. Park Service Police.”
Questionable whether this should be public knowledge or not, it is reportedthat none of the protective duty personnel will be armed. Arresting people for various offenses, however, will be among their duties.
Professor and faculty chair at the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, Stephen Fuller, stated, “Security is basically crowd management.” That being said, one of the service members main duties will be to protect Trump from angry protesters. It seems there will be no shortage of protesters with dozens of marches planned for the week of the inauguration that include hundreds of thousands of citizens, per a Facebook event page.
According to the Facebook event page there are 150,000 citizens marked as ‘attending’ with an additional 240,000 marked as ‘interested’ in joining the march on January 21.
Army Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, the commanding general of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, stated, Clearly, the biggest concern at this point is the number of potential protesters.”
Perhaps the biggest concern for security on Inauguration Day is, according to Fuller, “the one oddball with a gun.” Securing president-elect Trump will be of the utmost importance.
Assuming all goes well and Trump makes it safely to Jan. 21, the troops will then have their work cut out for them protecting the protesters from each other.
Written by Lorra B.