CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As President-elect Joe Biden became President Biden on the steps of the United States Capitol, he was defended in part by representatives from North Carolina.
What You Need To Know
- 40 deputies left for D.C. on Monday morning
- The deputies will work to secure travel routes and venues
- Deputies were COVID-19 tested before leaving
Forty deputies from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, along with hundreds from the North Carolina National Guard and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, helped secure the streets of the nation’s capital.
Sheriff Garry McFadden described it as a source of pride, even if he was nervous headed into it.
"Well it’s a good feeling, it’s like a proud father sending his kids off,” McFadden said earlier this week.
Deputies left Charlotte on a cold Monday morning to head to Washington, D.C. The group of 40 had been planning to go for six months, according to the sheriff.
After rioters stormed the Capitol earlier this month, McFadden said his deputies’ work became more important than ever.
"It is a concern because of the nature of what we are in society now, how the United States is being viewed,” McFadden said.
It’ll be a busy few days for the deputies as they work in a support capacity for security efforts across the district.
"Help with the routes, help with the viewing stations, and areas like that. And, whatever else will be needed. Have to be fluid 'cause things can transpire quickly, and we have to be able to adjust to it,” McFadden explained.
McFadden added this is not the office’s first time participating in inauguration security, and the amount of deputies, 40, is largely unchanged from past years.
In a sign of the times, deputies were COVID-19 tested before leaving and will go through some sort of contact-tracing protocol when they return.
The 40 deputies represent a mix of experience and newcomers, whom McFadden said will gain valuable experience.
"We try to get a mixture of the new and the old, and, so that’s how we picked them. Not necessarily for skill set or anything else,” McFadden said.
As he watched them leave the parking lot and waved goodbye, the sheriff said he’s hopeful they take in the historic moment while staying on high alert.
Away from Washington and back in North Carolina, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office has offered assistance to Raleigh and Wake County to protect the state capital.
McFadden emphasized they’re keeping a watchful eye on D.C. and here at home in the Tar Heel State.