This coming July, the White House is going to install sharp metal spikes on top of its black iron fence. The U.S. Secret Service announced the news on Thursday. They said that it was part of several security upgrades they plan to carry out for the famed home of the president and his family.
The security upgrades were inspired by an incident last September. A veteran of the Iraq war scaled the fence with a knife in hand, made his way through the White House lawn and actually went inside the home. Next, he ran through a ballroom before the Secret Service subdued him.
Incident Left Secret Service Shamed
The frightening ordeal, along with other security breaches that have happened recently, have left the President's security brigade in a position of embarrassment. The security agency's director resigned over the events.
The pencil point metal spikes will be installed on the fence and point outward. It is meant to serve as a deterrent to people who might feel compelled to climb the fence. It will also inhibit those who try to climb it, anyway. In fact, according to the agency, it is only a temporary measure of protection while they work to redesign the way the fence is constructed. A complete redesign is set to be constructed in 2016.
The Secret Service also announced plans to reorganize the the position of its officer booths, which are located at several vehicle checkpoints around the White House. They want to replace several concrete barriers with moving steel plate barriers.
Case Against White House Intruder Underway
Obviously, it is illegal to cross over the fence onto the White House lawn, and such an action could be viewed as a threat on the president's life. The 54-year-old man who scaled the fence last September, Jerome R. Hunt, pleaded not guilty in court late last month to the criminal charges that arose from the incident. After his not guilty plea, the man told news reporters that he did not expect to get inside the White House and he did not intend to hurt anyone. He also said that he had a legitimate reason for climbing the fence, but he declined to explain what it was.
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