- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Secret Service has called for heightening the security fence surrounding the White House by five feet, among other changes, in hopes of reducing the number of intruders amid an increase in “fence jumpers.”

Details concerning the agency’s proposal were made available Wednesday after NBC News’s local affiliate acquired an audio recording of a briefing prepared by federal officials.

According to the report, the proposal calls for building a “taller, stronger” fence on the White House grounds by 2018, the likes of which would incorporate various “anti-climb features” and “intrusion detection technology,” a Secret Service spokeswoman told CNN.

Specifically, the proposal will call for increasing the height of the security fence to 11 feet and adding a new concrete foundation to its base, as well as the installation of 1¾-inch pickets and taller gates near entrances, the NBC affiliate reported.

The Secret Service and National Park Service plan to officially present their proposal during a May 5 meeting of the National Capital Planning Commission, the federal agency required to approve any changes to the White House fence.

“The current fence simply is not adequate for a modern era. We’ve said that before. It is becoming more and more acutely clear that that is in fact the case,” Secret Service official Tom Dougherty said in an audio briefing released this week.

“[The fence] is entirely scale-able, depending upon the circumstances. And we have now a society that tends to want to jump over the fence and onto the 18 acres,” he added.

The White House was locked down Tuesday afternoon after a man successfully scaled the fence while allegedly fleeing the scene of a nearby robbery. The White House perimeter was breached at least 36 times between 1971 and 2014, at least seven of which have occurred during the Obama administration, The Washington Post reported.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide