STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Tomorrow, President-elect Trump lays a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery. It's the traditional start of a presidential inauguration, a way to honor those who've defended this country. As the inauguration unfolds, thousands of people in and out of uniform will be working to protect him and the many who come to see him. Washington, D.C. streets are lined with fences and cement barriers. Providing security for three days of events is expected to cost more than $100 million dollars. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.
BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: Law enforcement agencies in Washington have been planning for over a year how to keep safe those who will be watching, taking part in and protesting the 58th presidential inauguration. They estimate that from 700,000 to 900,000 people will be in attendance, fewer than watched Barack Obama's inaugurations but still a very big crowd. Little is left to chance. Here's FBI assistant director Paul Abbate.
PAUL ABBATE: We have been doing a lot of preparations and practices and drills, tabletop exercises and rehearsals.
NAYLOR: In all, some 28,000 law enforcement personnel will be in Washington, including the FBI, the Secret Service, National Guard troops and police from Washington, D.C. and out of town. The Coast Guard will be patrolling the Potomac. And sharpshooters and spotters will be posted on top of buildings lining the inaugural parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue. A new security concern this year, that someone might try to drive a big truck into a crowd following similar attacks last year in Nice, France and Berlin. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says security officials have taken steps to prepare for that.
JEH JOHNSON: Dump trucks, heavy trucks, trucks with cement, busses and things of the like, that is a precaution that we are doubling down on, in particular, this inauguration.
NAYLOR: Johnson says 99 groups have applied for permits to demonstrate against or in favor of the incoming president. Protesters who go through security will be allowed along the parade route like anyone else. U.S. Park Police Chief Robert MacLean says there will also be spots for organized demonstrations.
ROBERT MACLEAN: We have issued several permits. We continue to issue them all the way up through the day of the inauguration to these groups. And they will be spread out. And they will be placed in areas where they can exercise their First Amendment right.
NAYLOR: Demonstrations have disrupted inaugural parades in the past, most recently at George W. Bush's second inaugural. Protesters also threw rocks at Richard Nixon's motorcade in 1973. Johnson says officials will be closely monitoring things come Inauguration Day.
JOHNSON: We have our ear to the ground. We listen for and keep an eye on planned demonstrations, planned activity, specific types of demonstrations. And extra precautions are taken to ensure that the actual official event cannot be disrupted or blocked.
NAYLOR: Law enforcement will start to ease back security after the last official event, a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday. Brian Naylor, NPR News, Washington.
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