As America inaugurates its new president on Friday, law enforcement officers from Minnesota will help keep people safe along the parade route.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office says 40 of its deputies boarded flights for Washington on Wednesday. They say altogether about 200 Minnesota officers are helping with security on Inauguration Day, when a million visitors are expected to be in the nation's capital.
Sheriff Rich Stanek calls it an honor to be asked to help with the event. He says this is the fourth straight inauguration where Hennepin County will be providing security.
The Star Tribune says the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office and the Minneapolis Police Department are each providing more than three dozen officers and the State Patrol is sending 22.
Stanek says the local officers will all be sworn in as temporary U.S. Marshals and the federal government is covering their expenses.
About 8,000 people will be in the parade – following behind the newly installed President Trump as he makes his way from the Capitol to the White House. The list includes 23 marching bands from across the country (none from Minnesota, though).
The earliest inaugural parades were basically just a military escort for the president, but since 1841 it's been treated like a celebration, complete with parade floats.
Security officials are preparing for the possibility that large-scale protests will try to disrupt Trump's inauguration, the New York Times reports. A protest march planned for the day after the inauguration may draw as many as half a million people, adding to the security needs.
Minnesota should be well represented. KSTP says travel sites show only a few states have more flights heading to Washington. They say the average price of a D.C. hotel room for the inauguration is more than $2,000, which is about nine times more than the typical rate.