Page 36 - February 2021
P. 36

  Thirty-four Chicago Police Officers — 25 of whom are Lodge 7 members — were stationed in the na- tion’s capital for 13 hours to provide additional support for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
Officers from agencies nationwide were sworn in as Special Deputies with the U.S. Marshals Service on Jan. 18 to provide Inauguration Day security.
stitutional process of a president being sworn in.”
Excited chatter buzzed through the air on the evening of Jan. 18, when Chief Robert Contee III of the D.C. Metropol- itan Police Department welcomed hun- dreds of officers from around the coun- try in an outdoor ceremony prior to the inauguration.
He gave a shout-out to every city and department represented before thanking the officers for helping with the mission of protecting and serving Washington, D.C. When he called out the Chicago Po- lice Department, the crowd erupted into cheers.
An individual from the U.S. Marshals Service approached the podium and of- ficially went through the oath of office to swear in the officers as special deputies with the U.S. Marshals Service.
“I had never previously been sworn in like that for something,” Carroll shared. “So it definitely was something different and something new, getting there and being a part of it.”
On the morning of the inauguration on Jan. 20, Chicago Police Officers woke up ready to serve. Officer Steven Carroll of the 4th District was told that starting time would be 4 a.m. Members of the Department got up at 2 a.m. to prepare for roll call and a COVID-19 health check at 3 a.m. Despite the early call time, ex- citement permeated the buses as officers headed to their posts.
“[The] Chicago Police Department looked very sharp — it was the sharpest I’ve ever seen officers look at any point of my career,” Steven Carroll expressed. “I will say the overall feeling — as a police officer, I’ve never felt safer in my entire life. That’s the kind of security and mea- sures that they took for this event.”
Chicago Police Officers were stationed at Pennsylvania Avenue and 13th Street to guard what would have been the pa- rade route. The bigger agencies in atten- dance, like Chicago, are typically poised
Officers received COVID-19 health checks ahead of Inauguration Day.
  to be closer to the White House, accord- ing to Michael Carroll.
This Inauguration Day had fewer at- tendees than a typical year due to the pandemic. But Carroll observed that the diminished crowd didn’t diminish the experience for Chicago Police Officers.
“There wasn’t the mom and dad with their kid watching the parade go by,” he expressed. “I would absolutely say that it’s definitely an experience that I would urge any officer to do, but clearly I’m looking forward to more people next time.”
For the next 13 hours, members of the Department secured the street as heav- ily armored SUV limousines carrying political elites rolled up to the event and around Washington, D.C.
Officer Jennifer Elliott, a member of Unit 150 in the Bureau of Counterterror- ism, noted that officers — who all car- ried gas masks and Kevlar helmets in the event of an attack — received updates from the Secret Service after the pres- ident and vice president reached their destinations.
“The Secret Service couldn’t just let us know those movements,” she con- firmed. “So we had to just stay alert and
stay present, just because we didn’t know what the next move was going to be.”
After hours of standing guard, the sun began setting on Inauguration Day. It came time for Chicago Police Officers to travel back to their districts, carrying a renewed sense of purpose.
They left with immense pride in their historic contribution representing the law enforcement officers of Chicago in the nation’s capital.
“[It was] a huge honor to be selected to go and participate and represent our De- partment,” Elliott declared. “We walked out with a sense of unity. Some of us had never met or worked with each other. We were there for one common cause, one common good, and we were able to unite and offer our resources and support for the D.C. police.”

   34   35   36   37   38