MACC aims to keep inauguration secure

Sec. Janet Napolitano of the Dept. of Homeland Security prepares to speak Tuesday.

While hundreds of the thousands gather on the National Mall to watch President Obama take the oath of office next week, the people in the Emergency Communications Command Center will be watching for threats. The MACC is in a secret location away from the Mall and wired into every camera feed and everything that’s happening in real time.

“We hope and plan for and anticipate a safe and secure inauguration and one that will memorable and historic,” says Sec. Janet Napolitano, Dept. of Homeland Security.

Monitors will display cameras monitoring the crowd, the ceremony and any incidents taking place. A board will be a real time incident tracker and the room will be full of people from 42 agencies – city, county, state, federal and the military.

It looks a little like mission control, but the idea is to have all of the agencies involved with the inauguration in one place so if there is an issue, everyone gets the same issue and is on the same page.

“Collaboration with MPD, Capitol Police, Park Police, federal agencies, the FBI, it brings to light all those things and information is passed along a lot quicker,” says Chief Michael Taborn, Metro Transit Police.

One of the biggest changes from 2009 is communication with the public after all those people got stuck in the 3rd St. tunnel.

“There will be such a different feel when you come down this time for the inauguration. There are way finders, volunteers that will help direct people, we will have mobile apps you can follow,” says Chief Cathy Lanier, Metropolitan Police.

Hopefully that aids in a repeat of 2009 – no arrests or security-related incidents.