Hennepin County Sheriff's Office takes part in Inauguration Day
Forty members of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office participated in security detail during the inauguration. Photo Credit: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
(KMSP) - The inauguration marked a historic day, which 140 members of Minnesota law enforcement were able to take part in.
Sgt. Jennifer Johnson was one of 40 from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office who volunteered to go to the inauguration.
“It was for the President, whoever it was going to be, it was going to be an interesting inauguration,” said Johnson.
Officers flew out on Wednesday for two days of training. On Friday, their day started well before the pomp and circumstance.
“Our wakeup call was 2 a.m.,” said Johnson. “We were on the bus by 3 a.m. and we were probably in place by 5, 5:30 a.m.”
They stood along the parade route until 7:30 p.m., totaling a 16-hour shift.
“The pain of it all was worth it,” said Johnson. “I know that there are 140 officers that were killed in the line of duty last year and they would have killed to be in our position”
Johnson said it was a powerful moment hearing first-hand President Donald Trump's words ring out across the city.
“I'm part of history whether this becomes good history or bad history, I was there and just to hear the final, 'So help me God' - a little light went off,” said Johnson. “I was there for that.”
Fiery, violent demonstrations took place blocks away from the ceremony, but along the parade route Johnson says protests were peaceful.
“There were some heated discussions, but they were good discussions and that's what I liked about the inauguration,” she said. “It's people sharing their ideas. We don't all agree, but that's the beautiful thing about the United States, is we don't all have to agree.”
Sgt. Johnson said she didn't actually get to see President Trump go by because all law enforcement officers are trained to keep their eyes on the crowd at that time. She says after the motorcade went by they took turns watching the parade go by.