Law enforcement officers from multiple Minnesota departments were among those who provided security in Washington, D.C., for the Jan. 20 inauguration of President Joe Biden.
The Anoka County Sheriff's Office lent 25 members of its force, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office provided 38 officers, and the Blaine Police Department sent 14. They traveled to the nation's capital together, along with officers from the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
About 2,500 officers from across the country provided assistance, according to a spokesperson for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
"The request for assistance from the D.C. Metro Police Department comes in and we always try to send folks to help out," Hennepin County Sgt. Patrick Chelmo said. "It's an honor to be asked and to take part in that transition of power."
The deputies arrived the Monday before the inauguration on a chartered plane. When they arrived, they underwent a COVID-19 screening and were later sworn in as special deputy U.S. marshals.
On Inauguration Day, the officers lined the streets of the nation's capital, watching for suspicious activity and protecting the motorcade route from morning until evening.
The deputies who attended "said that the experience was an absolute honor, and that it was basically a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Tierney Peters, speaking for the Anoka County Sheriff's Office. "They were happy to be a part of it."
This was the first time Blaine police helped at the inauguration. The Anoka County Sheriff's Office and Hennepin County Sheriff's Office have sent officers to previous ceremonies. The Metropolitan Police declined to identify the departments that assisted, but Chelmo noted other Minnesota agencies may have been there.
Blaine police Capt. Mark Boerboom said his two top highlights were being sworn in Monday night and watching the motorcade drive by Wednesday afternoon. The 2021 inauguration was his first, and he said he intends to help again next time.
"It would have been nice to see spectators out there and nice to see a parade and the people enjoying the whole atmosphere," Boerboom said. "I'm hoping that in four years we can have [spectators] back again and I can experience that."
Peter Warren • 612-673-1713