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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Security preparations and planning for Friday’s inauguration have been underway for months.
Over the weekend, members of the U.S. Army Band stool in for the president-elect and the future first lady at a mock swearing-in ceremony. Military members marched in front of the Capitol Building and down Independence Avenue to work out the final details before the big event.
On Monday, the National Mall was dotted with security trailers as workers set up barricades for the 58th presidential inauguration.
Inaugurations are always tough for the police, but this year is different because of the web of potential threats. Plus, a record number of protest groups have applied for permits, 25, which is about five times what inaugurations typically see.
The Department of Homeland Security is expecting about a million people on the streets of Washington.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Abbate will be watching from an inauguration command center with representatives from several different agencies. Inside the command center, agents will monitor live video streams from dozens of cameras which will capture different angles of the city, street and aerial views as well as traffic flow.
“We’re facing a more complex threat environment,” said Abbate. “Just in terms of the types of attacks that have occurred, again, reference to things we’ve seen happen here in the United States and around the world.”
The attacks in Paris, Belgium and San Bernadino haunt law enforcement officials planning this type of large event. What is shows is that terrorist organizations are capable of large scale coordinated attacks or lone wolf incidents that have been inspired by al Qaeda or ISIS. Abbate said security planners for the inauguration can’t rule anything out.
“We work hard every day 24/7 not just during inauguration but every day, even today, to stop things like that from happening,” he said.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who led security efforts for President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, said terrorism isn’t the only concern.
“Protesters always create a challenge, particularly because they can be a distraction from the security of the main event,” he said .
More than 350-thousand demonstrators are expected in the streets for the event. Helping to keep the peace will be nearly 30,000 law enforcement officers deployed throughout the city, including 3,200 police officers from departments across the country and about 8,000 members of the National Guard.
Cyber security is another concern this year. The Secret Service will be tracking potential threats to protect critical computer systems and networks against cyber attacks that could disrupt the inauguration.
Officials say so far there has been no specific or credible threat to Friday’s ceremony.