City Desk

Report Cites Obvious Problems With Inauguration

The Post reported today that a report by Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has pointed out several obvious flaws with the inauguration. The report: "pointed to insufficient signs, poor coordination among law enforcement agencies and a lack of personnel to keep order and provide information to visitors." By now everyone who attended the inauguration or who read about the Purple Tunnel of Doom knows the screw-ups. The only thing left of out of the report is a mention of Dionne Warwick's ball flap.

In the report's executive summary, under "crowd management," it does point out a few major gaffes. Crowds were not only huge, they arrived before police officers got to their posts, the report states, adding that ticket holders and non-ticket holders ended up fighting for spots at the same gates. In other areas medium security fencing was either moved or trampled over. The report notes that in the Silver Section, the "snow" fencing had been trampled. In other spots, bike-rack fencing was simply moved.

The report also pointed out the conflicting maps for the "Third Street Street Crossover." One government entity declared that this crossover could not be used as an access point in and out of the Mall. Another declared that it could be. It wasn't until the morning of January 20 that a "joint decision was made" to allow silver ticket holders to use Third Street but only if they were escorted. But when D.C. Police requested it move a large group of silver ticket holders through Third Street, officers were told they could not. The report cites communication problems for the mix up.

In the conclusion of its executive summary, the authors note: "All planners and law enforcement personnel regret that so many of these travelers were unable to view the swearing in ceremony....It is the hope that all future security planners will benefit from this report."

*photo by AP.

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