Thousands of law enforcement officers are ready for an inauguration unlike any other, as 25,000 National Guard troops have deployed to Washington D.C. to protect everyone at the ceremony for the incoming president and those in the city. Officers nationwide are there for reinforcement after the U.S. Capitol riot that took place.
The response includes officers from Southwest Florida, whose duties began Tuesday. We learned about how officers with North Port Port Police Department prepared for this historic role.
“We had to bring a whole lot of extra gear because we’re going to be standing out in 46-degree weather,” explained Capt. Brian Gregory of NPPD.
Gregory is swapping his sandals for boots for the week of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Gregory, who calls Cape Coral home, is among 21 North Port police officers sworn in to serve as parade security on Inauguration Day.
“We did come equipped with additional tools, gas masks, body worn cameras,” Gregory said.
Deputy Chief Chris Morales of NPPD told us he spoke with those officers after the Capitol riot.
“I’m sure they have some anxiety about the unknowns, which in law enforcement that is very common,” Morales said.
Morales offered officers the chance to stay back, but every officer who became a volunteer chose to go. After all, they all went through a month’s long screening process.
“We had to provide names of folks who were going to be attending,” Morales explained. “We also had to provide names of alternates due to the fact that we were in this COVID pandemic.”
North Port Police Department also sent officers who live in Charlotte County and Fort Myers to Washington for Inauguration Day.
“Represent our agency, represent Southwest Florida and be a part of this big event,” Morales said.