FORT KNOX, Ky. — The gate guards at Fort Knox are racking up quite a tally these days.

According to Directorate of Emergency Services director Lt. Col. David Little, that tally involves discovering and stopping potentially dangerous people and contraband from entering the installation.

DES stops over 350 offenders at gates each quarter, reminds community to remain vigilant
Despite several signs posted along the route to Chaffee Gate warning that motorists traveling to a federal installation, over 350 people with warrants or contraband get caught trying to enter Fort Knox each quarter. (Photo Credit: Eric Pilgrim, Fort Knox News) VIEW ORIGINAL

“We’ve caught some pretty significant stuff at the gates since I’ve been here,” said Little. “We’re stopping folks with warrants almost on a daily basis. Those warrants range from failure to appear before traffic court to robbery, assault, vandalism and theft: some pretty serious offenses.”

Little said one of the surprises is how much marijuana the gate guards uncover. He wouldn’t say how much has been confiscated for legal reasons, but admitted it is a surprisingly large amount.

“One of the biggest catches we had recently was about 90 grams [over 3 ounces],” said Little. “We’ve caught a lot of dope.”

Most of the people who try to enter the installation and get caught with marijuana at the gates work or live at Fort Knox, according to Little.

“The majority of the folks are actually unaffiliated civilians,” said Little. “They’re coming on for everything from Door Dash deliveries to ‘my Garmin took me the wrong way’ or just wanting to check out Fort Knox.”

Little said he suspects at least some of the reason so much marijuana is being seized is because of changes in U.S. policies.

“Because of the legalization of marijuana throughout parts of the U.S., a lot of people think it’s okay and don’t realize that they’re going onto a federal installation where it’s not okay to have marijuana,” said Little. “Some people just make poor life choices.”

Little said while they see many of the same issues virtually every day, there are times of year where they see more of it. Summertime is one of those times, due in part to Cadet Summer Training cadets’ family and friends visiting and a natural increase in holiday traffic.

The numbers of those being stopped at the gates at any time of the year can be staggering. Little said in a typical three-month span where they see upwards of 15,000 visitors, guards will stop roughly 60-70 warrants, and deny entry to over 300 people.

“Those denials have been everything from felony convictions for murder to aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, sexual assault, firearms and weapon violations, evading arrest, forgery, fraud — that’s just an example of some of the crimes we have denied people on because they have a criminal history.”

DES stops over 350 offenders at gates each quarter, reminds community to remain vigilant
While the gate guards are notably superb at stopping offenders and contraband, Fort Knox DES officials are asking members of the community to remain vigilant in spotting and reporting suspicious activities within the installation. (Photo Credit: Eric Pilgrim, Fort Knox News) VIEW ORIGINAL

The list of those who are caught by gate guards goes on and on, according to Little. Oftentimes, the warrants involve multiple counts and repeated violations: “this is just a shotgun blast of the violations over the course of a quarter.”

Little said they’re doing everything in their power to prevent these individuals from getting on post, but he’s counting on the Fort Knox Community in case someone gets past his team.

“We can’t fix what we don’t know about. Just because we have access control points and gate guards doesn’t mean the community doesn’t have a responsibility to be sentries, as well,” said Little. “If you see something, say something.”