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Tag: Washington DC

Secret Service, Other Law Enforcement Prepared for Inauguration Day

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

With protesters and more than 800,000 people expected to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Secret Service has a daunting job of keeping the president and public safe.

To prepare, the Secret Service, FBI, D.C. Metropolitan Police and numerous other law enforcement agencies have been training for this day for the past year, Circa reports. 

Law enforcement officers have been preparing for bomb attack, random public disturbances and active shooters.

“The planning and preparation for this one is better and more comprehensive than I’ve seen in the previous seven I’ve been involved,” said interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham.

So far, Newsham said there have been no “credible threats about terrorist incidents.”

“The one thing we’re not going to tolerate is anyone who’s going to come here with the intention of breaking the law.” 

‘Largely Despised’ FBI Headquarters Offers Golden Opportunity to Redevelop Site

FBI's headquarters is called the J. Edgar Hoover Building.

FBI’s headquarters is called the J. Edgar Hoover Building.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Supporters of reviving Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington  can’t wait for the FBI to relocate the J. Edgar Hoover Building to a new suburban campus so redevelopment can begin, Business Journal reports.

Calling the building a “Brutalist and largely despised FBI home,” the Business Journal wrote that supporters want to replace headquarters with something that is mixed-use and open to the public.

The 2.8-million-square-foot Hoover Building, which was dedicated in 1975, “casts an ugly shadow over its surroundings,” the reporter wrote.

A 108-page guide, the Pennsylvania Avenue Plan, was written in 1974 and encouraged retail in the building, which never happened.

In December, the National Capital Planning Commission on unanimously supported new language in the plan that would “accommodate high-density” commercial, residential and cultural uses.

“We want to see an increase in daily active uses around all four sides of this property and we want to also see an increase in commerce and public use as well as national and local events,” Elizabeth Miller, the NCPC’s director of physical planning, told the panel.

FBI Arrests Lone Gunman Accused of Shooting Spree in Washington D.C., Baltimore

The NSA headquarters in Maryland was damaged by gunfire.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a man accused of at least five shootings in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area over the past two weeks.

The New York Daily News reports that the suspect, whose name has not yet been released, also shot up the NSA building Tuesday.

“We believe the subject responsible for shooting incidents on the ICC, near Fort Meade Army installation, and other locations around the Baltimore-Washington metro area in the last two weeks is in custody,” FBI Public Affairs Specialist Amy J. Thoreson said in a statement.

No one was injured in the NSA shooting.

It remains unclear whether the NSA was the intended target.

President Obama Was Angry with Secret Service for Handling of Shots Fired at White House

By Steve Neavling
tickethewire.com

Although President Obama recently expressed confidence in the Secret Service, his actions may speak louder.

Boston.com reports that Obama and his wife were incensed with the Secret Service’s handling of what turned out to be shots fired at the White House in 2011.

The news comes a little more than a week after a Texas man hopped the White House fence with a knife and made it all the way to the front door.

In the 2011 incident, the Secret Service thought the gun shots were sounds from a nearby construction site. Turns out, 7 bullets hit the mansion.

It was later discovered that the shots were fired from a car along Constitution Avenue.

Four days after the shooting, a housekeeper found smashed glass from one of the bullets.

Secret Service Was Tense As President Decided to Take Leisurely Stroll in Downtown Washington

Secret Service photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What seemed like a leisurely stroll outside of the secured confines of the White House for President Obama was anything but leisurely for the Secret Service who is responsible for protecting the president.

The Washington Post reports that Obama surprised many by leaving his usual bubble to greet people on the streets of downtown Washington D.C.

Obama’s stroll was not as structured as the Secret Service would have preferred, so agents were tense when groups of people approached the president, according to the Post.

“Any time the president leaves the White House complex there are risks involved,” Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said, adding that the Secret Service uses its knowledge to mitigate those risks. “Off the record movements can be used to our advantage since there is an element of surprise. If something a protected [person] does is not on the schedule then presumably someone wishing to disrupt an event or do them harm is unaware of it as well.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Cost Overruns, Delays May Kill $3 Billion Project to Build New Homeland Security Headquarters

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The news keeps getting worse for a massive new headquarters for Homeland Security in Washington.

The Washington Post reports that the project is now 11 years behind schedule, $1.5 billion over budget and may never be finished.

The call for a new, centralized headquarters came in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, supported by President George W. Bush.

But plans of razing 50 historic buildings and constructing a new headquarters on the grounds of St. Elizabeth, a vacant insane asylum, have been slowed by cost overruns and other problems.

The original budget of $3 billion is expected to reach $4.5 billion, and the completion date has been moved back to 2026.

Now officials familiar with the project say it may never get completed.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

The FBI’s New Special Agent in Charge in Oregon Takes Helm Monday

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Gregory T. Bretzing, a former accountant who joined the FBI in 1995, will take the helm at the FBI’s Oregon office on Monday.

Bretzing will become special agent in charge after serving as inspector at the bureau’s Washington D.C. headquarters for the past 18 months.

Bretzing, 47, also supervised a joint terrorism task force in Salt Lake City.

Bretzing has five children.

D.C. Businessman Pleads Guilty to Violating Federal, D.C. Campaign Finance Laws

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A D.C. businessman pleaded guilty Monday to felony charges in connection with secretly channeling more than $3.3 million in illegal campaign donations to at least 28 political campaigns, the FBI announced.

Jeffrey E. Thompson, 58, pleaded built to two conspiracy charges – conspiring to violate federal campaign finance laws and failure to comply with D.C. laws government campaign finances.

A Sentencing date was not set.

“Election after election, Jeff Thompson huddled behind closed doors with corrupt candidates, political operatives, and businessmen, devising schemes to funnel millions of dollars of corporate money into local and federal elections,” U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said. “Today’s guilty plea pulls back the curtain on years of widespread corruption. With Mr. Thompson’s cooperation, we have the opportunity to hold many wrongdoers accountable and to usher in a new era of honesty, integrity, and transparency in D.C. politics.”