In an “all-hands-on-deck” strategy, Mayor Muriel Bowser is calling up 5,000 members of the D.C. National Guard — along with some 3,000 police from other jurisdictions — to provide additional security for the inauguration and related events, supplementing the efforts of the city’s Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police, Park Police, Secret Service and other federal law enforcement agencies.
Security is always stepped up to deal with the inauguration crowds. How large those crowds will be this year is unknown. As of Jan. 7, it was reported that some 250,000 tickets to the inaugural ceremonies were still available.
Bowser is concerned about the seemingly record number of demonstrators who may be active on Jan. 20 and, especially, Jan. 21. The National Park Service is processing official applications from more than 20 protest and support groups, a historic number.
As many as 200,000 demonstrators are expected to participate in the Woman’s March on Washington Jan. 21. Other groups, official and unofficial, are hoping for a large turnout. Marijuana advocates are planning a “pot giveaway” in Dupont Circle.
“We aren’t expecting mass arrests,” said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Kevin Donahue, according to DCist.com.
“The MPD is planning for the possibility … but it doesn’t mean they expect or believe it will happen.” As for arresting those who partake in marijuana-advocacy group DCMJ’s pot giveaway, Bowser said that it “wouldn’t be a priority.”