Speed Reads

Secret Service With a Smile

Ex-Secret Service director wanted agency to 'be more like Disney World'

Julia Pierson, the former head of the Secret Service who resigned Wednesday after a series of screw-ups by the agency, approved of relaxed security procedures despite concerns from other agents, and once encouraged her team to "be more like Disney World."

From The Washington Post:

In the spring, Pierson was irate at what she considered the excessive security measures her team had planned for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which Obama hosted this summer, demanding that it dismantle extra layers of fencing and reopen closed streets, according to two agency supervisors. Supervisors who had mapped out the security plan said they were taken aback when Pierson, who worked during high school at Walt Disney World as a costumed character and park attendant, said: "We need to be more like Disney World. We need to be more friendly, inviting." [The Washington Post]

Last week, a man with a knife scaled a perimeter fence and made it into the White House before being apprehended. In the wake of that incident, the agency has been rocked by revelations that the man got deeper into the White House than previously stated, and that an armed man with a criminal record was recently allowed on an elevator with Obama in Atlanta.