The Utah Highway Patrol will be sending 40 troopers to Washington, D.C., to help with public safety at the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration.
UHP Sgt. Todd Royce said this will be the third consecutive inauguration that troopers from Utah have been asked to participate in. They will be cross-deputized by the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia and then spread out along the parade route that follows the inauguration, looking for anything out of the ordinary.
The goal, Royce said, is to keep both dignitaries and the public safe.
Some groups and organizations have been criticized for participating in the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, and others have opted not to attend. But Royce said there was no controversy among the 40 troopers selected to go to Washington, D.C.
“We did the selection process prior to the general election. And in something like this, we don’t worry about the politics in it. It’s just a duty. We go out and do it just for public safety reasons and to also put our best foot forward and to highlight our state and be part of that inauguration,” he said.
Some of the troopers going to Washington, D.C., also participated in President Barack Obama’s inaugurations, Royce said. Others will be working a presidential inauguration for the first time.
“It’s just a great experience for our troopers to go out there,” Royce said.
No Utah taxpayer money is being used to send UHP troopers to the inauguration. Royce said the agency will be reimbursed by the Metropolitan Police Department.