DC Police Chief Robert Contee said on Wednesday that more than 20,000 National Guard members could be expected in the District for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, though he noted the final numbers will be provided by the United States Secret Service.
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Multiple defense officials tell CNN that the total request for National Guard is close to 30,000 guardsmen to support US Capitol Police, Park Police and Washington Metropolitan Police Department but officials believe that the actual number needed is closer to 20,000. The officials added that there is no concern that there will be any shortage of Guard forces to meet requirements from the 50 States and the District of Columbia.
Asked if he’s ever seen this much law enforcement reinforcement coming to the District, the newly-installed Chief Contee, who is a veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department and lifelong DC resident, answered, “not at this level, no.”
Contee told reporters he remains concerned amid a “major security threat” ahead of the inauguration and planned demonstrations in the District this weekend.
“I’ve been concerned before today and will be through this weekend, and beyond,” Contee said on Wednesday, while praising DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s security posture, including discouraging people from coming to DC for the inauguration. “There’s a major security threat, and we are working to mitigate those threats,” he added