Ridge Describes Unprecedented Security for Bush Inauguration

6,000 personnel to be used for security detail; no-fly zone will be expanded


WASHINGTON (AP) - Security for President Bush's inauguration - the first swearing-in since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks - will be unprecedented with some 6,000 law enforcement personnel, canine bomb teams and close monitoring of transportation.

In describing the plans for the Jan. 20 event, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said that while the decibel level was down on terrorism chatter, the 55th quadrennial presidential inauguration was such a high-profile event that security would be at its highest level.

"This is the most visible manifestation of our democracy,'' Ridge said at a news conference near the Capitol, where Bush will take the oath on the West Front.

Ridge detailed some of the security plans, including patrols of harbors, mobile command vehicles, round-the-clock surveillance of the key facilities and thousands of security personnel. He likened the resources to those used during the political conventions last year.

"Security will be at the highest levels of any inauguration,'' said Ridge, describing it as unprecedented.

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced that it will expand the no-fly zone, now a 15-3/4-mile radius around the Washington Monument, to a 23-mile radius around Reagan National, Dulles and Baltimore-Washington International airports.

The temporary flight restrictions will be in effect from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 20.