The Florida Highway Patrol was invited by the Metropolitan Washington D.C. Police Department to assist with security for the 55th Presidential Inauguration. Forty Florida Highway Patrol troopers traveled on a chartered bus to Washington D.C. on January 18th, 2005, for the prestigious event. On January 19th, the troopers were sworn in as United States Marshals, along with 3,032 fellow police officers from 67 different police agencies. The special rank designation only lasted as long as the deployment, but it was a great honor nonetheless. In addition to our own troopers representing Florida, troopers came from Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. During the swearing in ceremony a snowstorm hit, blanketing the entire area with three inches of snow. It's official, snow and Florida troopers don't mix too well!
On January 20th, the detail started at 8:00 AM with deployment on the parade route. Before heading out, a group picture was taken on the steps of the National Archives Building. Our assignment was to secure the south side of Pennsylvania Avenue between the 600 and 700 blocks. The picture shows our Troopers in full gear with the Capitol in the background. The detail was led by Lieutenants Bill Ferrell and John Bagnardi, pictured with Washington D.C. liaison Lt. Paul Charity. After completing the assignment and thawing out, our troopers returned to sunny Florida the next day.