Washington (CNN) — Federal authorities will reposition a “non-scalable” fence around the entire perimeter of the White House on Monday, a source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to CNN. This is while law enforcement and other agencies prepare for possible protests around the elections.
The fence, the same type that was put up during the mid-year protests, will span Ellipse Park and Lafayette Square. It will go down 15th Street to Constitution Avenue and then 17th Street. The fence will then extend to H Street and cross Lafayette, then down 15th Street, the source said.
NBC News was the first to report on the new fence. The Secret Service did not respond to a request for comment.
Nearby in Casa Blanca, in the face of possible riots
The added layer of security is the highest-profile example to date of authorities preparing for potential unrest after this year’s election. This particularly if there is no clear winner for November 4.
As CNN previously reported, the immediate perimeter around the White House has already been largely blocked from the public this year for a variety of reasons. From a construction at the door of the White House to the protests and looting that occurred in central Washington in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by police in Minneapolis in May.
Lafayette Park, across the street from the north side of the White House, a regular site of protests, had also been heavily fenced off since police lunged at protesters on one side of the park in July.
Washington Police Chief Peter Newsham warned the District City Council last month that there was great expectation for some form of civil unrest after the election.
And many businesses in the capital’s downtown area, near the White House, have boarded up doors and windows in recent days in anticipation of possible protests.
In the middle of the year, some businesses saw their windows broken and other properties damaged by protesters.
Washington Police Prepare
But the Washington police have been training their officers for more than a year, as they do before every general election. They have made sure they are prepared to handle everything from civil unrest to crowd control to potential metropolitan traffic disruptions, Patrick Burke, executive director of the Washington Police Foundation, told CNN.
Police have also been working with intelligence officials to ensure the security of Washington’s airspace in the event of an attack from the air, Burke added. This is usually done when preparing for times of increased anxiety.
“If there is no winner, we will see significant deployments of agents at all levels in the capital,” Burke said.
“Agents will have their days off, there will be shift extensions and full agent deployments across the city.”
CNN’s Vivian Salama contributed to this report.
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