Security checks? No problem, some tourists visiting the White House said Monday.
“Security measures are never a bad thing, as long as it doesn’t take a long time,” said Celeste Black, a Mormon missionary in Rockville, after taking a picture for a fellow new missionary friend at the White House.
Tourists interviewed Monday said the possibility of the Secret Service increasing security around the president’s mansion after a fence-jumper carrying a knife got inside the front door is annoying. But many say it would not stop them from take a peek at one of the most snapped houses in the country.
“Even if there are security measures, I’d still come -- it’s the White House,” said Black, 19.
“Yeah, we still want to see the White House,” said her friend, Xintong Liu, 23.
Some tourists said the proposal makes them feel safer.
“I think it’s great -- I think you have to, especially with what’s going on with ISIS and everything,” said Patsy Caruthers, who was in town with her husband from Texas for their 44th anniversary. “It’s hard for those of us who want to see everything, but after what happened, I think everyone is going to be on their toes now.”
Friday night’s security breach has the Secret Service considering measures that could possibly could keep visitors off sidewalks around the White House or even implement a screening process that could start as far as a block away from the entrance gates.
Waiting in line is something tourists are used to in D.C.
Black said lines wouldn’t stop her from showing other visitors the White House. But she hopes that if checkpoints are put in place, they aren’t too long.
“If you could find an efficient way to do it quickly, because definitely you don’t want jumpers,” she said. “But in the grand scheme of things I don’t think you should freak out over one incident.”
Maja Kucinska said it could complicate things for visitors who just want a picture.
“I think it would be annoying for tourists like us,” said Kucinska, who lives in Poland and stopped by the White House for the second time since Saturday. “I think security should work better to prevent people from trespassing.”
And the lines? “I wouldn’t mind that much,” she added.
Her friend, Damen Kijo, who also is visiting from Poland, said checkpoint lines could swell to crowds in the hundreds on the weekends.
“They should worry more about what’s going on on the other side of the fence, and not here,” said Kijo after he snapped a picture of Kucinska in front of some additional fencing at the White House on Monday. “Put some more security guards there, and that should be all, in my opinion.”
Another tourist agreed.
Maria Paula of Buenos Aires, Argentina said she doesn’t think checkpoints are necessary but that beefing up a police presence could stop another Friday night securitybreach from ever happening again.
“The jumpers will stop that’s for sure,” she said.