Secret Service Blocks Off Sidewalk Near White House Over Security Concerns

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Secret Service Blocks Off Sidewalk Near White House Over Security Concerns

Sidewalk access has been 11 p.m.to 6 a.m. since 2015. In a statement, the Secret Service said the sidewalk was closed off permanently to "lessen the possibility of individuals illegally accessing the White House grounds".

The agency says restrictions will help officers respond to potential hazards, including fence jumpers.

The sidewalk bordering the South Lawn will be barred from tourists and passerby. The intruder, Jonathan Tran, 26, approached the south portico entrance carrying two cans of mace and a letter for President Donald Trump before an officer arrested him, the agency said.

Similar criticisms were sounded after the Secret Service communications director Cathy Milhoan's announcement. More highly symbolic First Amendment space is gone.

The restriction comes after a recent incident where a man got around security, scaled the fence and walked around White House grounds for over 15 minutes before being caught.

The same restrictions are in place on the north fence of the White House grounds, according to the Secret Service.

A higher fence around the White House was approved earlier this year, Milhoan said; the project will go out to bid later this year, and construction is slated to begin next year.

They include sidewalks, roadways and parkland areas between the south fence of the White House and E Street NW between West Executive Avenue and East Executive Avenue. They reported last week that two Secret Service agents on duty that night have been told they will be fired. He was arrested before making it to the White House fence itself. In addition, the agency has announced plans to raise the height of the fence and make it "tougher, taller and stronger", as a spokeswoman put it past year.

The goal is to create a buffer zone like the one at Pennsylvania Avenue.

Later that month, a man drove up to a checkpoint close to the White House and reportedly told police officers that he had a bomb in his auto.

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