Security boosted outside White House
Washington – — The head of the Secret Service has stepped-up security outside the White House after a man who jumped the fence made it into the presidential residence before being apprehended, the Secret Service said Saturday, as President Barack Obama insisted he still has confidence in the beleaguered agency.
Director Julia Pierson ordered enhanced officer patrols and surveillance along the North Fence of the compound just after the incident on Friday evening, which triggered a rare evacuation of the White House as well as renewed scrutiny about the agency's ability to protect the president and his family. The Secret Service said Pierson had also ordered a comprehensive review of the incident.
"The president has full confidence in the Secret Service and is grateful to the men and women who day in and day out protect himself, his family and the White House," said White House spokesman Frank Benenati. He said the White House expected Pierson's review to be conducted "with the same professionalism and commitment to duty that we and the American people expect from the U.S. Secret Service."
The Secret Service said it was "not acceptable" that the suspect, identified as 42-year-old Omar J. Gonzalez of Copperas Cove, Texas, had made it as far as he did. In a statement, Secret Service said the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility was carrying out the review, which started with interview and a physical site assessment and will include a review of all of the security and operational policies.
"The men and women of the Secret Service are committed to providing the highest level of security for those we are charged to protect, and will do whatever is necessary to successfully accomplish our mission," the agency said.
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