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Safety at Inauguration

Governor Jay Nixon will be among the state leaders sworn in starting at 8:30 A.M Monday morning. With thousands of people expected law enforcement has been prepping for the day since the last inauguration. While they were making the final touches on Sunday they explained safety is their top priority.”We expect a great day hopefully everything will go according to plan and we are hoping as many people can come out to see the inauguration as possible,” said 2nd Lt. John Quin with the National Guard.Around 3,800 people are expected to brave the cold and flood the front lawn of the capitol. While lawmakers star in ceremonies and people enjoy the events, officers behind the scene are making sure no one gets hurt.”The security is going to be much tighter with more officers but as far as the type of security that will stay the same,” said Cpt. Tim Hull with the Highway Patrol. Just like the years before, the National Guard and Highway Patrol are teaming up with other local agencies such as the Cole County Sheriffs Department, the Jefferson City Police Department, and the Capitol Police.While no metal detectors or special precautions will burden anyone’s day, officers are adding special equipment to the capitol. “We call it the big blue bus, but its actually a mobile command center which allows us to speak to other agencies involved in the cooperative effort so that everything goes smoothly,” said Hull.The command bus was parked in front of the capitol on Sunday and crew members inside can talk to any law enforcement officer. For security reasons they wouldn’t say how many patrols they have out, but said they’re ready for anything. “There’s a lot of different events we are involved in but it’s basically for the safety and security of those attending but also for assistance if they need it.” The ceremonies start at the First Baptist Church Monday at 8:30 A.M. and is followed by a parade and then the swearing in ceremony. Events will last until 8:00 P.M. Monday night, ending with the Governor’s Ball. Officials urge anyone attending to wear layers because the temperatures will be dangerously cold.People heading downtown in Jefferson City should also remember the traffic could get bad downtown. The 200 block of Broadway Street and the 100 and 200 blocks of West High Street will be closed starting at midnight on Sunday. West High Street will not reopen until after Nixon’s swearing-in ceremony, which is scheduled to begin at 11:25 A.M. Monday. The 100 block of Madison Street closed at 3:00 P.M. Sunday and will stay closed all day Monday. Parking will be restricted on both sides of the 300 block of East Capitol Avenue during the service at the First Baptist Church, which begins at 8:00 A.M. East High Street will be closed from Adams Street to Marshall Street, beginning at 7 A.M. Monday for the staging area for the inaugural parade, which begins at 10 A.M. Monday. No parking will be permitted Monday on East High Street.

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