January 17, 2009
Two million people? Four million? Bring ‘em on.
If, as expected, a record crowd turns out for Barack Obama’s inauguration, Washington will be ready with the largest number of security people ever assembled in the nation’s capital.
The U.S. Secret Service is overseeing a security force of more than 40,000 people, including 7,500 active duty soldiers, 10,000 National Guard troops and 25,000 law-enforcement officers.
That surpasses the 31,000 troops serving in Afghanistan.
Intelligence officials say there are no specific threats, but they acknowledge that the high visibility of the inauguration, the presence of dignitaries and the significance of swearing in the first black president make it a vulnerable target.
“We have to be prepared for the lone individual who will try to interrupt the event all the way up to a terrorist organization,” Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told FOXNews.com.
The Metropolitan Police Department will deploy 4,000 officers, and it will have help from an additional 4,000 officers from 99 federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies across the country.