The Secret Service proposes some new changes to the White House security system in order to deter future intruders to the building. Officials stated that there is a need to add a second layer of spikes on top of the fence that surrounds the White House. The proposal, which was submitted to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), was approved on Thursday.
The temporary security measures came as a result of security threats around the White House wherein intruders were found to have successfully crossed the fence. Last September, an intruder reportedly jumped over the fence and reached one of the buildings before being apprehended and eventually subdued.
One month later, a man from Maryland had made it into the lawn.
Last April, another intruder also cleared the fence.
"The temporary design solution for the White House complex fence is meant to improve security, while minimizing visual impacts and respecting the significance of the White House," says the Secret Service and the National Park Service (NPS) in a statement.
The second layer of spikes is made up of sharp metal points or "pencil point" spikes which shall be affixed to the existing fence that sprawled along the north and south sides of the property. Officials believe that the added spikes will deter and inhibit would-be intruders. While the fix is only temporary, officials say that a more permanent fence will be installed in the long run.
Apart from the additional spikes, other security measures are also being implemented. These include replacing concrete barriers with mobile steel plate barriers at vehicle checkpoints and adding a new White House officer booth at the building entrance.
The first set of spikes will be added on Friday while a second set is scheduled to be installed in July.
Work enhancements on vehicle checkpoints that are stationed at White House entrances are also expected to begin on Friday and are scheduled to be completed by mid-summer. Officials are also working with other federal agencies to come up with more permanent enhancements on security around the complex. A more permanent fence will be constructed by 2016.
Christie Ileto of WJZ asked Homeland Security expert Vernon Herron if things could have been different should the security measures had been in place as early as fall.
"If these measures had been in place, let's say last fall, do you think would we have seen all the White House jumpers we saw before?" asked Ileto.
"Probably not as many," said Herron. "It probably would have slowed them down a bit."
Photo: TimothyJ I Flickr