He was here. Now he’s gone.
President Joe Biden wrapped up a midweek visit to the Rehoboth area with a press conference June 4, at Rehoboth Beach City Hall – it was the first presidential visit to the new city hall, which opened in 2017. The conference was related to the May jobs report. The president arrived at the convention center at roughly 10:30 a.m. Less than 30 minutes later, Biden and his substantial entourage were on the road, heading toward the Gordons Pond parking lot where Marine One was waiting for a quick trip to Dover Air Force Base.
Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, who turned 70 on June 3, had been in town since June 2. The trip marked the president’s first visit to his North Shores beach home since being sworn into office in January.
Rehoboth’s support mission was accomplished
Biden traveled with many Secret Service agents, but local police support was needed to make Biden’s first trip to Rehoboth as president a success.
In an email June 5, Lt. Jaime Riddle, Rehoboth Police Department spokesman, said in this particular circumstance the department’s mission is to support the Secret Service in their mission, while also trying to limit the impact on the local community.
“Considering the design of the city and the increasing summer population, we feel we made our best effort to accomplish both,” said Riddle. “The efforts of our officers to adapt to a constantly changing event and their willingness to work on short notice combined with the professionalism of the men and women of the Secret Service was crucial to the success of this visit.”
It may have been Biden’s first presidential visit, but he made many trips while he was vice president. Riddle said Biden’s continued appearances in Rehoboth – as vice president, during his 2020 presidential campaign and now – have forged strong relationships with the Secret Service. There have been challenges, he said, but the professionalism and dedication of everyone involved to their law enforcement professions has proven beneficial.
“With that said, I would be remiss if I said the lift is not heavier,” said Riddle, on the support needed now that Biden is president. “However, we will continue to do all we can to support our Secret Service colleagues.”
What was learned from a Biden visit to Rehoboth
For the most part, the location of Biden’s North Shores home means his arrival doesn’t affect traffic too much or otherwise interrupt the summer fun of other visitors. Here are a few other tidbits of information gleaned from his visit:
• On trips when Biden takes a helicopter into town, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will most likely issue a notice saying the Gordons Pond parking lot will be closed for a specific amount of time, without giving a specific reason for the closure.
• There are air restrictions put into place. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction for pretty much all the airspace from Dover to Ocean City, Md.
• The Delaware State Police work in conjunction with the Secret Service to ensure Biden’s safety, but no details were provided regarding any road restrictions or closures.
• Variable road signs were placed along Ocean Drive alerting residential and commercial vehicles of changes and restrictions. One day, the signs said the parking lot at Gordons Pond was closed. The next day, the signs said all commercial vehicles must go to the parking lot for a security sweep before entering North Shores.
• Rehoboth Beach City Hall and its police department carport can be used as a makeshift location for presidential press conferences.
• Secret Service agents are used to questions and willing to talk with individuals who want to wait around for a chance to see the president. They will not divulge even the slightest detail of the president’s schedule. A person either knows what’s going on, or they don’t.