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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Security restrictions loosen following tumultuous month in D.C.

File Photo by Lillian Bautista | Senior Photo Editor
Nearly 26,000 troops from 50 states, D.C. and three territories were present in the District during inauguration.

After a historic month of political upheaval, security restrictions are loosening around the District following the presidential inauguration.

This month’s riot at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 caused law enforcement to implement significant security measures leading up to President Joe Biden’s inauguration, locking down much of downtown D.C. for days as thousands of National Guard troops swarmed the District to provide additional security. Federal and local agencies have started breaking down the many miles of fences and barricades constructed while some heightened security measures remain in place.

At a press conference Thursday, Mayor Muriel Bowser thanked the Secret Service, National Guard, supporting federal agencies and the thousands of police officers who traveled to the District to provide security during the inauguration.

“I also want to thank D.C. residents for enduring the street closures and the intense security measures that we all saw, and I know that we will continue working together to keep our city safe but accessible,” Bowser said at the press conference.

Crews began removing the barriers that surrounded the National Mall and other areas Wednesday evening, and District officials said it could take up to 36 hours to finish taking down the remaining fences.

Most of the National Mall was reopened within hours of the conclusion of Wednesday night’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

Bowser also reopened indoor dining in the District Friday up to 25 percent capacity. She issued an order last month banning indoor dining during the holidays but later extended the ban through Inauguration Day amid security concerns in light of the Capitol riot.

The National Guard said in a statement that nearly 26,000 troops from 50 states, D.C. and three territories provided support during the inauguration, but only 10,600 troops remained on duty as of Thursday.

“The planning and process may take several days, but arrangements are being made to return close to 15,000 troops as soon as possible and should conclude within a five to 10-day period,” the statement reads.

Roughly 7,000 National Guard personnel are anticipated to provide assistance through the end of the month, the group said.

As former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate gets underway, as many as 5,000 National Guard troops will remain in the District through mid-March, Politico reported Sunday.

University President Thomas LeBlanc said in a message to the GW community Thursday that he expects to see heightened security in Foggy Bottom gradually rolled back in the coming days, but officials will maintain an “enhanced safety team” on campus in coordination with local and federal agencies.

“I am pleased to report that the on-campus community has remained safe this week, thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our safety, security and residential life staff and the commitment of our students and others in taking the necessary precautions,” LeBlanc said in the message.

He said he looks forward to welcoming an additional 1,000 students as they move into residence halls this month.

“Thanks to our health and safety teams, we are well prepared to integrate these new members of the on-campus cohort into our robust public health protocols, including weekly testing,” LeBlanc said. “All of our staff and faculty also are working hard to create only-at-GW moments and support a continued high-quality academic experience for our students, both on campus and online.”

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