by Jonah Bennett
Thirteen thousand troops will be on hand to provide security and support for GOP President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
There will be 5,000 active-duty troops and 8,000 National Guard members from around the country at the inauguration, continuing a tradition that dates back to 1789, the first ever inauguration, according to a new report from Army News Service.
Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, commander of the District of Columbia National Guard, said 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.
“If something goes bad, it’s up to the law-enforcement agency to make the first move,” Schwartz said. “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.”
Neither guardsmen, nor active-duty personnel will be armed, but they will have the power to make arrests.
Aside from providing crowd control and other security, active-duty personnel will be involved in musical units and salute batteries.
Trump’s inauguration is expected to draw an enormous amount of protesters.
“Clearly, the biggest concern at this point is the number of potential protesters,” said Army Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker, the commanding general of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region.
Meanwhile, anti-Trump protesters are furious they haven’t received permits from the National Park Service to make use of key locations. The Women’s March, for example, hopes to bring as many as 200,000 people to Washington, D.C. This group has been granted access to the U.S. Capitol from the local city government.
Much of the day’s events are determined by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which takes orders from Trump himself. But at this point, Trump has not yet discussed his wishes for how the day will unfold, meaning that no permits can be issued to other groups before that’s taken care of.
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