DC Mayor Muriel Bowser penned a letter to Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), asking for interagency preparation for the inauguration to avoid possible chaos and fatalities.
Bowser stated in the letter dated January 9 that her government is extremely concerned about the upcoming National Special Security Event (NSSE) led by the Secret Service in light of “the unprecedented terrorist attack on the United States Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, and the continued threat of related violence.”
“We believe strongly that the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20 will require a very different approach than previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury, and death experienced at the United States Capitol during the insurrection,” Bowser said.
The mayor requested that the Department extend the period for the National Special Security Event to run from Monday, January 11 to Sunday, January 24, 2021, instead of holding it from January 19-21.
The extension of the inauguration ceremony period will pave the way for better federal and district government interagency preparation and continued security in the region in the face of new threats of domestic terrorism.
Bowser recommended that DHS “secure the permission of the Congress of the United States to include the Capitol and its grounds in the NSSE perimeter.”
I strongly urge the United States Department of Homeland Security to adjust its approach to the Inauguration in several specific ways, and have outlined them in the following letter to Acting Secretary Wolf. pic.twitter.com/GaxUWfFbxk
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) January 10, 2021
In addition, DC is submitting a request for a pre-disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Act for the Inauguration in order to enhance and expedite direct federal assistance for the inauguration preparation, according to Bowser.
The mayor also urged DHS to coordinate with the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the US Congress and the Supreme Court “to establish a security and federal force deployment plan for all federal property.”
Another suggestion made in the letter was that the acting attorney general at the Department of Justice should direct the FBI to “provide an intelligence and threat briefing on a daily basis” during the extended period of January 11 – 24 to the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) and MPD, along with other law enforcement agencies serving in the District.