(This post has been updated.)
A moat around the White House was actually under consideration but was quickly ruled out.
You may recall in November 2014, a few months after a man jumped the White House fence, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) suggested to then-acting Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy that one solution to secure the grounds was a barricade of water.
But when a federal agency voted unanimously Wednesday morning on a temporary fence plan, a moat wasn’t an option. The agency approved adding steel spikes to the existing fence to fend off jumpers.
The National Park Service and the Secret Service gave presentations to the Commission of Fine Arts on long-term security improvements to the White House grounds that have been in the works since after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
How to temporarily secure the fence was also an action item on the Wednesday agenda, Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, NPS’s National Capital Region spokeswoman, told the Loop in an e-mail.
They are also looking at more permanent fence improvements. Scott MacFarlane at NBC4 got an early look at proposed permanent changes that will be presented in the fall, and will likely consist of making the fence higher.
Some ideas already off the table?
A chain link fence, a solid wall and, more dramatically, an electrified fence and a moat (yes, a moat was on a list of “concepts considered but rejected.”)
The moat was axed, according to documents obtained by MacFarlane, because of “maintenance concerns” and the logistical challenges of retrieving “an intruder from a moat.”