U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) walked into a MacDill Air Force Base conference room with about a dozen reporters waiting for him. Their question, the same as his to MacDill personnel: how did a homeless woman sneak onto the military base four different times?
Senator Nelson, a senior member of the Senator Armed Services Committee, says its still unclear how Suzanna Jensen, 50, was able to gain access to the base, but that she was deemed a non-threat each time and was turned over to civilian authorities.
Jensen says she used a trash can once to help prop herself up far enough to get over a wall. She even told authorities she had been on base once for as many as eight days; although Senator Nelson says there is still no evidence to support that.
But Sen. Nelson made it quite clear in Friday's press conference that he is not concerned about the security of one of the nation's largest military installations. He said, after conversations with MacDill personnel on Friday, he is sure something like this won't happen again.
"There are two things they have done," says Nelson. "An enhancement of the fence line and at the Maritime. Two, talking to everyone, just to be aware of what's going on. As a result, I don't think you will see any kind of penetrations."
Sen. Nelson also mentioned the government sequester. He said he has no doubt MacDill is secure considering they have been able to thwart several security threats in recent months. However, he said, having thousands of civilian workers mandated to take furlough days is putting a real strain on the installations ability to keep a close eye on everything.
As for Jensen, she has been charged with four counts of trespassing and one count of stealing a military badge.