Politics

In List Of Changes For Secret Service, A New Fence Comes First

A Secret Service police officer walks outside the White House in Washington, Oct. 23, 2014, as a maintenance worker performs fence repairs as part of a previous fence restoration project. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)
A Secret Service police officer walks outside the White House in Washington, Oct. 23, 2014, as a maintenance worker performs fence repairs as part of a previous fence restoration project. (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

 

(NPR) – The Secret Service must both change the way it trains agents and hire more of them, according to a panel that reviewed the agency that has endured a string of embarrassing lapses in recent months. The panel says its suggestions are “a road map for reform” under a new director.

Some of those suggestions are inherently practical — such as one that states “the fence around the White House needs to be changed as soon as possible to provide better protection.”

The panel stated, “the ease with which ‘pranksters’ and the mentally ill can climb the current fence puts Secret Service personnel in a precarious position,” in which agents must quickly decide whether a threat might require a potentially lethal response.

The call for a new fence comes three months after a man scaled the White House’s 7 1/2-foot fence and ran toward — and inside — the building.

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