The U.S. Secret Service said it plans to further restrict public access to areas around the White House, a decision officials announced a month after a man carrying mace scaled the White House fence and was able to roam the grounds.
These new restrictions, which prohibit access to a sidewalk alongside the White House’s southern fence-line, are relatively limited, but they come as the Secret Service has faced critical questions following that incident.
The Secret Service said the changes were part of a review of security measures at the White House and its surrounding grounds. The agency did not directly mention the fence-jumper in March as a motivation, but they said the new restrictions may help deter similar attempts in the future.
The changes, which were first reported by USA Today, go into effect Wednesday at 11 p.m. Members of the public will not be allowed to access the sidewalks, roadways and other area between the southern fence line and E Street NW between West Executive Avenue and East Executive Avenue.
The Secret Service, in a statement detailing these plans, said these new restrictions would not keep the public from being able to see the White House, and added that similar restrictions have already been in place overnight, from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., since 2015.
During the March 10 episode, a California man named Jonathan Tran scaled the fence and roamed the White House grounds for nearly 17 minutes before he was arrested.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Mark Berman