I, and about 50 to 60 other SERT officers, boarded Ride-On buses at about 3 in the morning and headed in to D.C. for the inaugural events.
Our area of patrol was to be on the parade route, on Pennsylvania Ave. between 14th and 15th street.
We got into D.C. amidst the organized chaos of hundreds of other law enforcement agencies from the U.S. And after a lot of sitting around and getting shuttled and shuffled around we ended to our area of post at about 6.
At this point, I had already been up since 1 in the morning. So at about 6 I was thinking to myself the day is just getting started...little did I know. With the parade not being scheduled to start till 2:30, we had a long way to go.
I'm sure most of you checked weather reports or heard what the weather was like that day, but it never got above freezing, and Penn Ave. is a freaking wind tunnel with tall buildings on both sides of it. Our side of the road was also the shaded side, never seeing the light of the sun the whole time. Fortunately, with the amount of officers we had, we were able to do rotations and each shift would stay out about 45 mins to an hour each. The only time our section was to be at full strength is when the president and vice president came through.
The atmosphere was pretty exciting. The parade route was no where near as packed as I thought it was going to be. There were plenty of empty bleacher seats in our sections. I would say D.C. did a good job of crowd control in those areas, maybe even too good of a job given how much space there was left on the parade route at the start of the parade. I would've said this would've been your best opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Pres. and VP, unfortunately Obama was back in the car by the time he got to our section, but I still got to see Biden walking down the road out of my extreme peripheral vision. We were told at no point were we to turn around and take our eyes off of the crowd. This made it difficult to see Obama in a car.
All in all it was a pretty exciting day. I could sit here and complain about how cold it was or about how long we had to stand but to be a part of history and actually see an African American President sworn in, something I never would've thought would happen, was worth it. I will admit, I don't think I was feeling this way at the end of a 17.5 hour day.
Hours worked: 17.5
Hours standing: 12
Toe warmers used: 8
Hand warmers used: 8
Warmer used other places: 2
Blueberry muffins ate: 8
Cups of coffee: 6