Secret Service Wants to Build Fake White House to Learn How to Protect the Real One

AFP / Toshifumi Kitamura
AFP / Toshifumi Kitamura

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Stung by accusations that it cannot adequately protect the White House, the Secret Service wants to spend $8 million to build another White House in Beltsville, Md.

In prepared testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, Joseph P. Clancy, the director of the Secret Service, on Tuesday will urge lawmakers to give him money to build a detailed replica of the White House to aid in training officers and agents to protect the real thing. Beltsville, about 20 miles from the real White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is the site of a 500-acre Secret Service training site in the verdant terrain of Southern Maryland.

“The Secret Service currently uses a rudimentary, not-to-scale simulation of the north grounds of the White House, using bike barricades to act as the fencing,” Mr. Clancy will tell lawmakers, according to the prepared remarks. “There are no structures, vehicle gates, lighting or other aids to enhance the training simulations.”

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