New access control program vets civilian personnel entering post
December 19, 2013
Personnel entering post may have noticed the hand held scanners now used by Department of Army security guards. The new procedure, implemented, Dec. 1, is a component of "Rapid Gate," an access control program which is already used at other installations.
According to Brian Allen, physical security specialist, Rapid Gate is a vetting system aimed at a certain population which works on the installation.
"By Army regulation we are supposed to vet personnel who are not DoD [Department of Defense] credential holders -- CAC [Common Access Card] credential holders," Allen explained. "All CAC and DoD personnel have been vetted to some extent, but these people who Rapid Gate focuses on are the non-CAC card holders, non-DoD card holders, who come in with a drivers license."
Non-card holders are enrolled in Rapid Gate in two different ways. The government sponsor can send employee information to the Physical Security Office and obtain contact information for the program, or personnel can sign up individually via the kiosk now installed at the Main Gate.
Employees who complete the enrollment process will be issued a Rapid Gate credential, which looks similar to a CAC card. Individuals receive the cards between 10 and 14 days after enrolling.
Although the program is open to all contractors and vendors doing business on post without a security clearance, Floyd Threat, physical security specialist, mentioned that enrolling in Rapid Gate does not automatically guarantee a card.
If there is something derogatory in the employee's background, Rapid Gate personnel will notify the Directorate of Emergency Services to determine if they should deny credentials, Threat said.
Aside from acquiring proper certification, the most visual aspect of the program is the hand held scanner. It has the ability to read multiple credentials including CAC cards, retired military and military dependent cards, drivers licenses and state-issued identification cards in addition to the Rapid Gate cards.
According to the program's website, www.eidpassport.com, these devices, known as the Rapid RCX handheld scanners, can cross-check local barment, no-entry and no-work lists; law enforcement watch lists and other open-source criminal databases. The lists must be uploaded to the scanners first before reading the cards.
Allen added that one of the big roles of the scanners is to verify Rapid Gate credentials.
"We can scan the barcode … and make sure the card is valid; maybe for some reason the employer called and said 'terminate this card.' … We can catch that by scanning it," he said, adding that an employer also has the option of notifying Rapid Gate personnel to terminate credentials.
Rapid Gate is a product of the privately-held company EID Passport. The program is operational at more than 150 government installations and facilities nation-wide. An annual fee does apply to card-holders. For more information, call 533.2447.