WASHINGTON District of Columbia officials have lowered their turnout estimate for Monday's presidential inauguration. The district's homeland security director, Chris Geldart, said Sunday that officials now expect between 500,000 and 700,000 people to attend.
That's fewer than the 600,000 to 800,000 people initially anticipated and significantly less than the 1.8 million people that packed the National Mall for President Obama's first swearing-in in 2009.
The estimates are based in part on the number of charter buses arriving in the city, as well as the number of hotel and restaurant reservations. Geldart says the lowered crowd estimate isn't changing any of the security preparations or planning, with more than 2,000 police officers from across the country having been drafted in to help secure the event.
The officers were sworn in as deputy U.S. marshals during a training session Sunday at American University. The oath, administered by the U.S. marshal for the District of Columbia, authorizes them to work security for the inauguration ceremony. Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier attended the ceremony.
Authorities haven't revealed the precise number of law enforcement officers working Monday, but a Metropolitan Police Department spokesman says about 2,600 officers have arrived from out of town. That will supplement the department's roughly 3,800 officers, as well as agents from the Secret Service, the FBI and other agencies.