Steel spikes may be added to the iron fencing surrounding the White House grounds in Washington as a deterrent to intruders hopping the barrier.
The National Park Service has submitted the plan, said Bloomberg News, and is awaiting blessing from the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission.
The removable spikes, which would be afixed to the existing fence, are a temporary solution until a permanent replacement fence can be designed and erected, according to Bloomberg News.
The International Business Times reported that "a moat [around the White House] was rejected because it would be 'difficult to retrieve an intruder from a moat' and would require maintenance," as it cited the study.
“We are working with our partners to develop, as quickly as possible, both interim and long-term solutions that meet today’s security needs while respecting the historic setting and significance of the White House,” the Park Service said in a statement. “The interim solution enhances security without affecting the visitor’s experience.”
An independent panel that examined the Secret Service and security at the White House recommended that the existing fence be raised as much as five feet from its current 7-foot 6-inch height and that its horizontal bars be eliminated. “A better fence can provide time, and time is crucial to the protective mission,” the panel said in its report. “Every additional second of response time provided by a fence that is more difficult to climb makes a material difference in ensuring the president’s safety and protecting the symbol that is the White House.”
The proposal was reported by WRC-TV in Washington. The station cited documents saying the Park Service is considering making the new permanent fence as tall as 10 feet. A second fence inside the White House grounds is also under consideration.