US Secret Service statement on fence jumper
Recently, Omar J. Gonzalez, W/M/42, of Copperas Cove, Texas, climbed over the fence on the north side of the White House complex and ran towards the front of the mansion. Gonzalez failed to comply with responding Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers’ verbal commands, and was physically apprehended after entering the White House North Portico doors.
The First Family was not in the residence at the time of the incident and was en route to Camp David, Maryland. Every day the Secret Service is challenged to ensure security at the White House complex while still allowing public accessibility to a national historical site. The challenge of securing the White House complex from security threats is ever present. Although the officers showed tremendous restraint and discipline in dealing with this subject, the location of Gonzalez’s arrest is not acceptable.
In addition to the criminal investigation of Gonzalez by the Secret Service’s Washington Field Office, Director Julia Pierson immediately ordered the Secret Service’s Office of Professional Responsibility to conduct a comprehensive after action review of the incident. The review findings will be submitted to the Department of Homeland Secretary, Jeh Johnson. This review began with a physical assessment of the site and personnel interviews. In addition, the Secret Service will review all operational policies and security procedures during this process.