Local Politics

N.C. troopers to provide inauguration security

Posted January 19, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— In addition to the millions of people who traveled to Washington to witness Barack Obama's historic presidential inauguration Tuesday, thousands of law enforcement officers from across the country volunteered to assist with security for the event.

Law enforcement officers help with inauguration Law enforcement officers help with inauguration

Fifty-one North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers were among the officers sworn in Monday as special deputy U.S. marshals for the event.

"This gives the guys and myself a chance to come off the road and do something unique, something extraordinary," said Highway Patrol First Sgt. David Henderson, of Henderson.

Aside from the professional challenge, Henderson said, he jumped at the chance to assist with the inauguration for personal reasons.

"My 5-year-old son is convinced that I'm going to meet President Obama," he said. "He told me, 'When you meet him and shake his hand, tell him my name.' When a 5-year-old is interested in what his father's doing for the change, then somebody's reached out and touched the right person."

The officers assisting with inauguration security came from law enforcement agencies as far away as Los Angeles, Washington state and Fort Worth, Texas. More than 5,600 security cameras also have been set up in and around the inauguration area, and downtown streets were closed to non-commercial traffic Monday.

Before the officers were sworn in, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier reminded them of their place in history and the challenge of remaining alert and focused.

Highway Patrol Trooper Scott Meade said the history of the moment was the reason he came from Gastonia for the inauguration.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime situation, to be part of history forever," Meade said. "To be here for the first African-American to be sworn in as president and (the fact that) I can actually be a small part of that is absolutely amazing."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • leo-nc Jan 20, 2009

    pbj, I made that statement in relation to this event only. Take exception all you want. Your post has nothing to do with what you're talking about here. I know about your NCDOT issues and the like. I also know how you come to stories like this and post things that have NOTHING to do with the story.

  • pbjbeach Jan 20, 2009


    I would like to take exception with one statement that you have made here today in your bloging for your/our tax dollars are not safe here in nc. for the fact that we dont have anyone that is within our state government politicians demanding that there be any kind accountablity for the spending of taxpayers dollars particually when it comes to the oversight of that spending of taxpayers dollars with respect to contracts that are being let for state services for the benefit of the taxpayers of this state all the pols are worrying about is how fast they can line their own pockets with taxpayers funding. thank you

  • thepeopleschamp Jan 20, 2009

    I'm still waiting for those who chose to use this article to whine about law enforcement to say what their profession is so I can comment about it.

  • acuranut Jan 20, 2009

    i am not saying they shouldnt be paid... and i'm not worried about my tax dollars. but if they are being paid then dont call it volunteering.

  • leo-nc Jan 20, 2009

    "i have a hard time believing that they are volunteering for this and not being paid for it. are troopers not on salary? so their paychecks will be reduced? i doubt it."---

    Of course they're being paid!! BUT, since you know nothing about the process, you don't have to worry about your precious little tax dollars. Those dollars are safe right here in NC.

  • thepeopleschamp Jan 20, 2009

    An article about NC Troopers providing security is a ramp for some to rant about law enforcement? To those ranting, please state your profession so we can complain about it too.

  • acuranut Jan 20, 2009

    i have a hard time believing that they are volunteering for this and not being paid for it. are troopers not on salary? so their paychecks will be reduced? i doubt it.

  • leo-nc Jan 20, 2009

    They did NOT drive their cars up there, clueless people

  • joco cruiser Jan 20, 2009

    If a single one of these officers drove their cruisers to DC then we the people of NC are paying for their trip. I hope Bev. makes sure that NONE of our tax money goes toward this.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Jan 20, 2009

    One poor person waited 3 hours for an officer this morning following a minor accident on 95. Thin blue line is too thin considering the weather.