Secret Service Reviews White House Security after Intruder Enters Mansion
- By Matt Holden
- Sep 22, 2014
The Secret Service is reviewing White House security after Omar J. Gonzalez breached the perimeter and made his way inside the front door of the mansion. Once inside, an officer subdued Gonzalez, who was carrying a folding knife with him.
It is standard practice for guards to hold their fire unless an intruder is seen carrying a weapon or backpack that could potentially house an explosive. A trained attack dog is considered a failsafe to attack intruders, although it was not released in this situation. The reasons are under investigation.
“This is totally and wholly unacceptable…How safe is the president if this can happen?” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on national security in a report. “I just can’t believe somebody can go that far without being impeded. The perception they are creating is only going to inspire more security breaches.”
The White House released a statement saying, “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.”
Former agents of the Secret Service worry the breach is due to a staffing shortage the agency has struggled with. It has been flying in agents from field offices around the country to do temporary assignments.
Matt Holden is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media, Inc. He received his MFA and BA in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He currently writes and edits for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, and Security Today.