National Guard

National Guard to Continue Supporting Federal Authorities in DC

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National Guard troops protecting D.C. will be here longer than expected.

The Guard said it will continue supporting federal law enforcement agencies with 7,000 members, then draw down to 5,000 troops through mid-March.

Guardsmen will be helping with security, communications and logistics, the Guard said.

Officials said it’s not clear who requested the extended troop presence.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has said she directed officials to keep an enhanced security posture after the U.S. Capitol riot, then multiple bomb threats and arrests on Inauguration Day.

The city is on high alert for potential threats, forging partnerships with the new Biden administration and planning strategies and tactics for safety, officials said.

"The threat of extremism is here," Chris Rodriguez, Director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), said. "You saw it on Jan. 6, and it will continue to be a persistent and real threat to the District of Columbia, and to and to our region as well."

The official National Special Security Event (NSSE) for inauguration ended at noon Thursday, the U.S. Secret Service announced. But Bowser and Rodriguez said they have considered requesting another NSSE or similar designation for major events in the future, such as a Joint Session of Congress.

News4's Shomari Stone has the first signs that things are starting to get back to normal.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' swearing-in and inauguration ceremonies were completed without disruption, but police took action on bomb threats, suspicious packages and people accused of carrying weapons and ammunition.

Three suspicious packages and one suspicious vehicle were checked out and cleared, officials said.

Police said the all-clear was given in each case. No actual explosives were reported.

Bowser said she has directed HSEMA to continue an "enhanced posture" on security "to deal with the threat of white extremism and any other threat to our city."

Three people were arrested, the U.S. Secret Service said: One at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue for having unregistered ammunition, another at 12th Street and Independence Avenue for having unregistered ammunition, and one at 19th and H Street for possessing a BB gun.

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