DHS secretary says security measures tied to inauguration will begin Wednesday
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Monday said the Secret Service would start implementing special security measures the week before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration due to recent events and the “evolving security landscape.”
Wolf announced that the National Special Security Event operations for the inauguration would be moved up to Jan. 13 from its previously planned Jan. 19 date. The decision was made amid heightened concerns about potential threats to the inauguration after a mob of Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol last week.
“In light of events of the past week and the evolving security landscape leading up to the inauguration and at the recommendation of Secret Service Director James Murray, I have instructed the U.S. Secret Service to begin the National Special Security Event operations for the 2021 Inauguration effective Wednesday, January 13th instead of January 19th,” Wolf said in a statement Monday afternoon.
“Our federal, state, and local partners will continue to coordinate their plans and position resources for this important event,” Wolf said.
The decision means that special precautions will begin six days before originally planned in order to secure the nation’s capital.
The Homeland Security secretary is responsible for deciding whether to designate major federal events as National Special Security Events, which means that the U.S. Secret Service becomes the lead federal agency in charge of security operations for the event.
Over the weekend, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) wrote to Wolf asking him to extend the special event period so that it would run from Jan. 11 to Jan. 24.
Bowser and others have expressed concerns about potential violence around the inauguration on Jan. 20. Biden told reporters on Monday that he is not afraid of being sworn in as president on the west front of the Capitol building and said that he had been receiving briefings.
The FBI reportedly issued a memo to law enforcement agencies warning of the potential for armed protests at 50 Capitols and D.C. beginning on Jan. 16.