The second time around, President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony is expected to be a much smaller affair. Still, even with smaller crowds, law enforcement personnel are going all in.
The inauguration crowd for Monday's public event is expected to be less than half the size of 2009, when an estimated 1.8 million revelers flooded the nation's capital, reports Reuters. In addition, hotels and restaurants are reporting vacancies and the White House even slashed the number of official black-tie balls.
But even with the scaled-back plans, enhanced security will be evident. If you are coming to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration or if you're just interested in this uniquely American event, here are some security-related facts you should be aware of:
- Cars will be towed. The D.C. Department of Public Works is reminding visitors to obey the Emergency No Parking signs posted throughout the District for Monday's inaugural festivities. While expired meters, residential parking, and rush hour lane restrictions will be lifted on Jan. 21, illegally parked cars such as those in "no parking" areas will still be ticketed and towed.
- Don't let presidential protests get out of hand. So you're disappointed with President Obama. He did not do enough during his first term, or he went too far. For whatever reason, if you want to exercise your right to protest, remember to protest within reason. Bring a sign, craft a clever chant, but take things too far and you could find yourself in jail for disorderly conduct or other charges. (This goes for unruly inaugural revelers too.) Also remember, verbal and physical threats against the president are a definite no-no.
- Leave your dogs, guns, and aerosol cans at home. There is a lengthy list of prohibited items at the inauguration. Just pretend you're boarding a flight.
Like it or not, we have another four years of President Obama. Whether you're celebrating the inauguration or protesting within reason, it's always a good idea to exercise some common sense.
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