Security Plan Altered on the Fly
The high volume of pedestrian traffic prompted Metropolitan Police officials to close Independence Avenue Southwest earlier than planned, disrupting Capitol Police operations Tuesday morning.
According to an e-mail alert issued at 8:29 a.m. by the office of the House Sergeant-at-Arms, eastbound Independence Avenue closed ahead of schedule, and vehicles were directed to turn around.
This is contrary to the Multi Agency plan that was agreed to, the e-mail stated. This development severely impacts the use of essential Congressional support placards. … We urge Members and staff to avoid this area and use alternate routes coming from the North on Massachusetts Ave or in the south along M Street.
Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman, declined to discuss how the closure affected security operations, referring all questions to the Sergeant-at-Arms.
She also could not confirm whether Members or aides had been turned away because of the development, although alternate routes were outlined in the e-mail.
A spokeswoman for the Sergeant-at-Arms was not immediately available as formal inaugural events began at 11:30 a.m., and the Metropolitan Police Department declined comment, referring all inquiries to the Secret Service.
Emily Yehle contributed to this report.