WASHINGTON -- Nearly one million people are expected for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, including tens of thousands of demonstrators. A massive security force is in place -- and not all of it is visible.
The Secret Service has gamed out numerous scenarios for protecting the new president tomorrow, from an active shooter to an assassin using a weaponized drone.
“We’re concerned about every possibility that’s out there,” said Secret Service director Joseph Clancy. “And when i say concerned, I mean we plan for every possible threat that’s out there.”
The Coast Guard is patrolling the Potomac River, while U.S. Customs helicopters buzz the skyline.
Their primary responsiblity is to “play the role of being the eyes in the sky. We have a camera mounted on the helicopter,” says Will Sanchez.
Over 30,000 federal and local law enforcement officers and 5,000 members of the National Guard will blanket the city.
Secret Service agent Doug Barnett is also on the lookout for cyberattacks.
At an operations center, he and other agents track malicious codes which could infect the computer networks of power grids, water companies, and even the air conditioning systems of buildings.
“Some concerns would be the introduction of some sort of biohazard or chemical substance,” Barnett says.
The lead agent, Kyo Dolan, says after studying Russian hacks against Ukrainian power systems, her team made sure buildings and companies were taking basic precautions.
“You become absolutely knowldegable as much as you can,” Dolan says. “And then you get creative. You think how can someone harm us?”
It’s ok to be a little bit paranoid in this job -- “it keeps you focused,” Dolan says.
Officials say there is no specific or credible threat against the inauguration. But they are concerned about the recent attacks in France and Germany involving trucks. So the security perimeter here has been reinforced with barricades.