Do Fences Always Work as Intended? Well, Not Always...

Dan Keller

For many years, the White House and grounds (18 acres) were protected by a 6-foot 6-inch tall fence. Then, in September of 2014, an intruder, a man with a knife, scaled the fence, sprinted across the North Lawn, and entered the White House, before being apprehended.

Alarmed by this relatively easy intrusion, Congress authorized the design and installation of a new, higher fence around the White House. In 2017, before the new fence was completed, another man carrying mace climbed the fence and roamed the White House grounds for 17 minutes before being apprehended by Secret Service Police.

Subsequently, in 2018, a new 13-foot 1-inch tall wrought iron fence was installed around the White House, at a cost of $64 million. That should stop them! Well, not entirely.

On Tuesday, April 18, 2023, the smallest White House intruder was apprehended at 3 years old and in diapers, after somehow gaining entrance through the new fence. The toddler was quickly apprehended by the diligent White House Police and even through the possible criminal penalty is up to one year imprisonment (or 10 years if he had a weapon) was quickly reunited with his anxious parents.

He was the smallest intruder since the $64 million barrier was installed.

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