Security is being bolstered at the White House on a temporary measure as officials determine a long-term solution aimed at preventing intruders from jumping the fence and getting into the compound.
That includes a r emovable anti-climb feature consisting of sharp metal points that will be installed on the top of the existing White House fence to “deter and inhibit individuals who may attempt to climb over the fence.” The fixes come in the wake of a spate of fence-jumping incidents, including one last September in which a man jumped over the fence and made it into the White House before being tackled. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned in the wake of the lapse.
Work is expected to begin on the points in early July and take about four weeks. The Secret Service and the National Park Service said the temporary measure will be in place until a long-term solution is found and is meant to improve security, “while minimizing visual impacts and respecting the significance of the White House.”
There will also be new, temporary security measures to White House entrances, which the agencies said will also improve aesthetics at the checkpoints. Work will begin Friday on vehicle checkpoints on E Street, NW, starting at 17th Street followed, by 15th Street, and then at the Ellipse.
Crews will rearrange existing officer booths, install a new officer booth at the Constitution Avenue entrance to the Ellipse, and update vehicle checkpoints by replacing concrete barriers with mobile steel plate barriers which can be raised and lowered.
The agencies are working with other federal agencies to develop a long-term design solution for the White House perimeter fence and a final design is expected to be decided later this summer. It will be submitted to the Commission of Fine Arts and National Capital Planning Commission in the fall of 2015 and construction is expected to begin in 2016.