White House restricts access to southern fence

A view of the White House through a surrounding fence

Secret Service says it has permanently restricted public access to a sidewalk and adjoining areas south of the White House to make it more hard for people to jump the fence in the latest attempt by the agency to tighten security and deter potential intruders.

The Trump administration has permanently shut down public access to the sidewalk outside of the south fence of the White House, among other restrictions, USA Today reported Wednesday.

"The Secret Service must continually evaluate security protocols and continually balance the security of our protected persons and facilities with the public's ability to access them", Secret Service Communications Director Cathy Milhoan told The Hill.

These restrictions had already been in place each night from 11 p.m.to 6 a.m. beginning in 2015.

April 20 (UPI) - The Secret Service said it is planning to put additional barriers in place around the south side of the White House, closing off access to the sidewalk along the south lawn.

Weeks after the March 10 incident, a woman jumped over a temporary barrier outside the White House fence. The measure creates a buffer zone between the White House fence and onlookers, pushing crowds back to the north edge of the Ellipse park.

The new area of security focus, the south grounds of the White House complex, is on the side nearest the Washington Monument and draws large crowds on the bordering sidewalks, especially on occasions when the president arrives or departs on Marine One. The Trump administration recently said that it would keep White House visitor logs secret, a reversal from the Obama years.

Passers-by will still be able to see and take photographs of the White House and its grounds.

There's a plan for a significantly taller fence with "pencil point" anti-climb fixtures, but construction isn't slated to start until next year.

The stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue remains closed to drivers.

During the March 10 episode, a California man named Jonathan T. Tran scaled the fence and roamed the White House grounds for almost 17 minutes before he was arrested.

Tightening security at the White House.

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