By Crystal Lewis Brown, Fort Jackson LeaderSeptember 28, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- If you haven't had to get a background check recently, or have one updated, it is very likely that you have never had to venture inside the Installation Security Office, a small building that sits catty-corner from Post Headquarters.
But the people who work there are hoping to change that.
Saturday marks the beginning of a month's worth of activities aimed at making the Fort Jackson community aware of installation security.
"I think people get used to doing routine stuff and they get kind of lax," said Yvonne Adric, a security assistant with the ISO. "This is a good time to remind people that security is important."
The ISO deals with information security, personnel security and industrial security, said James Howell, the office's chief. But the most common issues he said his office deals with are those that relate to security clearances, background checks and the transmitting and handling of classified documents. Howell said he hopes that by focusing on security awareness throughout the month of October, on-post units and organizations will begin to think ahead before potential problems could arise.
"This way, we put it in their head that, 'Hey, maybe I need to check my clearance and check my status,'" he said.
He added that it is also a good time for organizations to check the combinations of any safes being used to store documents and ensure those combinations are on file at the ISO in case something happens. It is also important that organizations continue to follow protocols when it comes to certain documents. For example, Adric said, paperwork that includes personal information, such as Social Security numbers, shouldn't be left out where anyone could have access to it.
Although the office is planning to be more in the public eye this month, Howell stressed that security is a year-round process. He urges units to check twice a year with their security managers to ensure all those in the organization have up-to-date clearances. Adric agreed, saying that it is up to each person to get the ball rolling on any reinvestigations before they become due.
The office also conducts what they call staff assistant visits during which they review each organization's information and security awareness programs and offer on-the-spot corrections, if needed. Organizations also have security checklists, which should ensure that they are following the proper procedures.
"If they have a checklist, it should keep everything safe," Adric said. "If something doesn't seem right, if (people) have concerns, they need to call their (security manager.)"