White House upgrades its perimeter security

The occasional but still alarming breaches of the White House perimeter, by foot and by vehicle, has the U.S. Secret Service on the lookout for security upgrades. From sharp fence clip-ons to new vehicle security barriers, the National Park Service, on behalf of the Secret Service, has proposed a series of enhancements to the White House perimeter, each of which will be reviewed next month by the National Capital Planning Commission.

Numerous incidents of White House fence jumping spurred the Secret Service to test various modifications “to slow or prevent intruders from getting over the fence.” Per the NPS, testing revealed that steel “pencil points” bolted to the top of the fence at the north and south sides of the White House grounds “reduced the threat to an acceptable level.” The points, which will not increase the height of the fence, will be installed as a temporary improvement, while both the NPS and the Secret Service study permanent upgrades ( a moat’s been ruled out, apparently). Also slated for upgrades are the guard booths and security elements (largely concrete Jersey walls and giant planters) at the three main vehicular entrance points to the White House grounds — 15th and E streets, 17th and E streets, and Constitution Avenue.

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