News: MCLB Barstow takes initiative and makes base safer
Story by Lance Cpl. Norman Eckles
The Marine Corps Police Department aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif., prepares to step up security with a new electronic scanner at all access control points around the installation, beginning February 2013.
MCLB Barstow has adopted Rapid Gate as the new and improved security system for all access control points on the installation and will begin using the system shortly after the new year.
“Although there is nothing wrong with the system used today,” said Chief Darwin O’Neal, chief of police with the MCPD aboard MCLB Barstow, “there is an opportunity for improvement and that’s what we are looking for.”
According to the Rapid Gate website, Rapid Gate combines multiple identity management programs to create a robust and comprehensive enterprise access control solution for the many populations that request access to military installations, government facilities, critical infrastructure and commercial facilities across the nation.
Jim Robell, the president and chief of operations at Rapid Gate, explained how the scanning device works. It reads a barcode and sends the information to a server which “digs” into that person’s file. For example, criminal records such as warrants and outstanding tickets are searched, alerting the proper officials of suspicious people.
The Rapid Gate procedure is an advanced tool in today’s technology that will help MCPD keep MCLB Barstow, its tenant commands, and all personnel aboard the base safe.
According to the Rapid Gate website, the system provides identity authentication, background screening, biometric verification, credentialing, enclaving, entry authorization verification and reporting. With the state-of-the-art technology, access control personnel can process credentials from various populations in seconds and with confidence. This increases security, streamlines access and ensures efficient use of resources.
“Being denied access could happen for a multiple of reasons,” said Robell. “For example, if a person has warrants for their arrest, credentials are invalid, credentials are not real, access could be withheld.”
Another reason for being denied access would be if you were on the Debarment List. The list is compiled by the base commanding officer and given to the on-duty sentry. The Debarment List contains names of individuals banned from the base for various reasons. The on-duty sentry is responsible for checking the names on the list and making sure those people do not enter the installation.
With Rapid Gate, the list is put into a system that will automatically recognize that person’s name when the card is scanned, explained O’Neal.
“Although Rapid Gate can scan I.D. cards, visitors will still have to go to Building 101, Pass and I.D., to receive a visitor’s pass,” said Deputy Chief William Atkinson, with MCPD aboard MCLB Barstow.
Along with increased security measures, entry onto the installation should be expedited. Traffic at the front gate may be delayed in the beginning of the implementation of Rapid Gate, explained O’Neal.
Contractors will be required to have a Rapid Gate card if they do not have a Common Access Card.
For an individual to receive a Rapid Gate card a background check has to be preformed. If an individual has a felony on their record they cannot receive a Rapid Gate card, explained O’Neal. However, the contractor may still gain access to the base with the command’s approval on a case-by-case basis. The information obtained from the background check is completely confidential and will only be released to the individual for whom the check was performed, explained O’Neal.
“The key to the success of Rapid Gate is the cooperation of everyone going through the gate,” explained Robell. “Make sure you have your credentials out and ready to be scanned. People who have that out normally go through the gate faster than someone who does not.”
Adopting Rapid Gate will create a better sense of security for all residents, employees and Marines aboard MCLB Barstow, explained O’Neal.