By Cris Barrish
Counter-sniper units are on roofs in downtown Wilmington, and Secret Service agents carry duffel bags with high-powered weapons around The Queen theater in downtown Wilmington.
Security checkpoints with concrete barriers and a wall of vehicles are in place at two spots in Greenville, through which only authorized visitors can pass after being swept with magnetometers.
A motorcade of two dozen vehicles with heavily-armed agents and medical facilities travels around New Castle County or on the roads to Rehoboth Beach with a singular mission — protecting Joe Biden.
That’s some of what Delawareans are already experiencing, or can expect to witness, during Biden’s looming presidency. And after he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20, Biden will be riding in an armored limousine known as “The Beast.”
Providing the president with what former high-ranking U.S. Secret Service director Mike White calls a “360-degree level of protection’’ is already evident at The Queen in downtown Wilmington.
White, former head of the federal agency’s Presidential Protective Division and now a security executive in Chicago, was able to shed some light on safeguarding America’s next commander-in-chief when he spends time in Delaware.
Prior to the arrival of Air Force One at the New Castle County Airport, about 10 miles from Biden’s home, a support aircraft will deliver equipment, including presidential limousines and sometimes the Marine One helicopter.
White also speculated that because of Wilmington’s proximity to Washington, Marine One or even the motorcade could transport the president to and from the White House to his homes in Greenville and Henlopen Acres outside of Rehoboth Beach.
Though the safety of the president trumps all other concerns, the Secret Service does take pains “to reduce the impact on the community as much as possible,’’ White said.
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