Card readers screen post's visitors
August 19, 2010
FORT SILL, Okla. -- A couple months ago, a felon tried to drive onto Fort Sill. When the gate guard scanned the criminal's ID card, the scanner's database immediately revealed that the man was wanted by federal authorities. The Fort Sill Police were called, and they detained him until U.S. marshals arrived to take him into custody.
When people enter any of Fort Sill's six access control points, their DoD-issued ID cards, state driver's licenses or other forms of identification are screened by an Intellicheck Mobilisa 2500 Sentry.
The handheld database can scan bar codes and read magnetic strips as well as manually entered information and instantaneously run a person's identity through potentially hundreds of law enforcement, persons-of-interest, barred or customized watch secure and wanted lists.
People on such lists who appear at the gates are either turned away from the post, charged with wrongful entry of a military installation or taken into custody, said Army civilian Maj. Joe Glanzer, Fort Sill Police chief.
"I think it's a great access control system and I'd like to see it used more," he said.
In July, gate guards performed about 368,000 scans. Of those, there were 166 BOLOS, or be-on-the-lookout suspects.
"The most common are wants and warrants," Glanzer said. "A guy has a warrant out for his arrest for bogus checks, or someone driving with a suspended license."
Other types of BOLOS include lost, stolen, fake or expired identification cards. And, customized lists can be created by the Fort Sill Police. For example, a former Soldier who has been banned from the post will have his name entered onto a barred list, Glanzer said.
When called to respond to a person detained at the gate, Fort Sill Police will further run the person's identity through the National Crime Information Computer to verify that the person is wanted, he said. The NCIC has real-time information on suspects and their status.
The police use about 30 Mobilisas; their databases are updated daily, Glanzer said. The scanners do not read magnetic strips on credit cards which is a concern to many people.
And, no records of who entered the post and when are recorded only numbers. "The system has the capability to record names and times, but we shut that off for their privacy," Glanzer said.
The rugged, weatherproof Mobilisas have been in use about five years here. Although he doesn't have data to show a correlation in reduction in rates of crimes since they've been implemented, the scanners have stopped many people at the gates, he said.
A lot of people don't come to Fort Sill to commit crimes, Glanzer said. Some people who work or live on post have warrants, and it is many of those people who are being stopped.