Security Top Priority for Inauguration Preparations - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

Security Top Priority for Inauguration Preparations

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RICHMOND (WRIC) - Preparations are underway for Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe's inauguration Saturday and security is a big priority.

Security is always tight at the Capitol, but even more so Inauguration Day - especially when you have Bill and Hillary Clinton scheduled to be here as well.

Expect to go through a rigorous screening before entering Capitol Square.

Capitol Police say they'll have to move more than 5,000 people through a screening process.

"That I see as our biggest challenge," says Captain Randy Howard of Virginia Capitol Police. "While at the same time preventing guns, knives, weapons and other dangerous items from coming into capitol square."

No back packs are allowed in. In fact there's an entire list of prohibited items, including scissors, water bottles and coolers that will be taken away if you try to bring them.

Originally, umbrellas weren't even allowed, but police have eased up on that restriction as the weather doesn't look too good.

"They will be allowed into the square," Howard says. "But at some point, they may be asked to lower their umbrellas during the ceremony."

Guests will be provided with a poncho in case you have to put the umbrella away.

Several nearby roads will be shut down as access to the capitol will be restricted. Secret service will be doing random sweeps as well.

"Safety is our number one issue and if we have a problem we will definitely address it at the time," says Inauguration Committee member Ashley Bauman.

In addition to the ceremony, there is a parade following it as well as an open house of the Governor's Mansion.

For a full list of the day's events go to inauguration2014.com.

 

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