!! History Commons Alert, Exciting News

After 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001: Park Police Shut Down the Area around the White House

Sal Lauro.Sal Lauro. [Source: C-SPAN]The US Park Police works with the Secret Service and the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police to shut down the area around the White House, and it also secures the monuments and memorials in the capital. After commanders at Park Police headquarters in Washington learned that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001), they activated the chief’s command post. This is a meeting room in the headquarters building, furnished with telecommunications equipment, which has direct communication links to the FBI, the Presidential Emergency Operations Center at the White House, the DC Emergency Operations Center, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s operations center. They then called other commanders who were not at the headquarters to the command post, to help coordinate the department’s response to the attacks. These individuals included Captain Sal Lauro, assistant commander of the Park Police’s special forces branch. As Lauro was driving to the headquarters, he noticed smoke and flames coming from the Pentagon, which was attacked at 9:37 a.m. (see 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001).
Priority Is the Security of the White House - After Lauro arrives at the command post, he and the other officials gathered there discuss what actions the Park Police needs to take. Their most immediate concern is the security of the White House, since the area around the building is the Park Police’s property and so the Park Police is responsible for its protection. The officials also recognize the need to evacuate and secure the national monuments and memorials in the capital.
Officers Implement a Plan to Close the Area around the White House - Lauro then takes command of the Park Police’s operations on the street. He is carrying with him a plan he was given over 10 years ago, at the start of the Persian Gulf War, which outlines the procedures for shutting down the area around the White House. He is informed that this plan is going to be implemented, apparently for the first time, and so he pulls it out of his briefcase and sets about implementing the procedures. Park Police officers work with the Metropolitan Police and the Secret Service to secure the city blocks around the White House, closing the area to vehicles and pedestrians.
Monuments and Memorials Are Secured - Meanwhile, other Park Police officers secure the areas around various monuments and memorials, including the Washington Monument, the Ellipse, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. They also secure the White House sidewalks and Lafayette Park. Throughout the day, Park Police officers will initiate temporary road and pedestrian closures in response to potential threats. [National Park Service, 3/28/2002; McDonnell, 2004, pp. 15-18 pdf file; Graff, 2017, pp. 333]

Entity Tags: United States Park Police, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, Salvatore R. Lauro, US Secret Service

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Ordering 

Time period


Email Updates

Receive weekly email updates summarizing what contributors have added to the History Commons database

 
Donate

Developing and maintaining this site is very labor intensive. If you find it useful, please give us a hand and donate what you can.
Donate Now

Volunteer

If you would like to help us with this effort, please contact us. We need help with programming (Java, JDO, mysql, and xml), design, networking, and publicity. If you want to contribute information to this site, click the register link at the top of the page, and start contributing.
Contact Us

Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike