WASHINGTON, D.C.–After learning through an investigation that there have been some 40 successful attempts by people to get to the White House by jumping the security fence surrounding it, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D), issued a statement Thursday critical of the Secret Service, which is charged with protecting the president and his family.
Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was in charge of the investigation. Thompson is the Ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Homeland Security.
“The report indicates that the Secret Service’s response at the White House was significantly tempered on Sept. 19 because of critical and major failures in communications, confusion about operational protocols, and gaps in staffing and training,” said Thompson in a news release.
“While some of these problems can be attributed to a lack of resources, others are systemic and indicative of Secret Service culture.”
The agency has been criticized in recent years for being lax and allowing its members to party excessively, to hire prostitutes while protecting the president in foreign countries and for allowing some individuals who were security risks, to be too close to the president.
“Some of these problems have begun to be addressed, however, it is imperative that DHS follows through on these findings and institutes real reforms. I look forward to continuing to work with the leaderships of the Department and the Secret Service to get this vital agency on track.”