The program, being called Trusted Agent by the Virginia Port Authority, allows trusted visitors access to secure areas of the Port by providing them with a Nextel Sprint phone equipped with a radio and navigational system from Xora Co. When paired up with Situator from Orsus, it provides Command Center operators with the ability to track and monitor their whereabouts on Port property and directly contact them.
The Virginia Port Authority came up with this solution after recognizing the challenges posed by TWIC requirements. TWIC requires that anyone needing access to secure areas of Marine Transportation Security Act regulated vessels and facilities to have a Coast Guard issued identification credential or be escorted at all times.
TWIC is a Coast Guard approved common identification credential that is tamper resistant and contains the workers biometric fingerprint to allow for a positive link between the card holder and the card.
According to Ed Merkle, Director of Port Security and Emergency Operations, Virginia Port Authority, some people coming to the port are one time visitors, such as truckers who have been trusted with bringing secure cargo across the country but do not have a TWIC card. At a cost of $132.50, the card can be expensive for one-time visitors. The other challenge is when a TWIC card carrying person forgets his card for the day. The person would then need to be personally escorted to gain access to the Port.
“That employee can be critical to you,” said Merkle. "These were the problems we were faced with and we asked what’s a possible solution? We’ve heavily invested in our security infrastructure and wanted to identify a way to further leverage it."
Trusted Agent will enable the Virginia Port Authority to maintain TWIC compliance. The handheld device can notify dispatchers by communicating via Situator if the visitor with the device enters a restricted area, a section of the Port he is not authorized to enter or if the device doesn’t move for a pre-defined period of time.
Pretty lazy journalism, take it for what it’s worth. The Coast Guard does not issue the TWIC. It seems that would be pretty simple research/background for someone writing a story about how burdensome the TWIC can be.
Anyone here in the freight forwarding/NVOCC business that can comment on what they do to make sure the truckers have a TWIC to access terminals?
Seems to me that anyone who wants access without a TWIC could be a potential security threat and should be personally escorted, not given a phone (that could be compromised) for tracking purposes.
How lazy can one port be. Like someone wanting to do harm would carry the phone into the area they are not supposed to be. Gee let’s just set this phone down and go plant the bomb over there… Or give the phone to someone else to carry. Another of the “Well thought out plans” involving port security. What are they gonna do next make a card that is expensive and force everyone working in or around a port to have it. Then have no way locally to check the card. OOPs they already did that.
Isn’t allowing access without a TWIC kind of making the whole process meaningless? A"trusted" person could be anybody. Who determines what defines a “trusted” person? What the hell was the TWIC boondoggle for anyway?
Exceptions to the rule…why have the rule?
The whole TWIC program has been a government debacle since it’s inception. It continues to be.
I got my TWIC at the Port of Tacoma and all three times I went there I seemed to be the only mariner, all others were truckers.They seemed to be more of them each time, (last in Feb), as if they had waited/didn’t get the word till the 11th hour. Some talked about getting into the port and many spoke of getting into the Air Force and Army bases there. A TWIC and a CDL may be a vary valuable combination very soon.
I received my first TWIC prior to Oct 08 and went back in to have it checked for whatever happened and nothing could be accessed on my card or pin. Went though the process for a replacement and now 2 months later still no replacement. -------90 second pause because I can not think of anything patriotic to write or that is not full of swear words… I guess it at least gives some one a job.
And it’s a great way for the government to collect a BUNCH of money for nothing.
Its not the government that is making any money off of this, its Lockheed/Martin. We paid them 70 million to come up, implement, and administer this junk. Would like to see how many stock holders sit on the homeland security committee.
With a little digging Representative Harold Rogers, the wonderful man who came up with this great idea had more then the protection of this country on his mind when he thought this up. http://www.workingimmigrants.com/2006/05/political_pork_and_the_tamperp.html
The idea of being able to give somebody a phone and letting them go is pure asinine. I can already come up with several ways to get around it. Mainly getting a buddy that you work with to hold on to it while you go on your marry way.
HAH! Jeff, if we think that mariner jobs are going to foreign workers then it will be no surprise that trucking, is in the process of being taken over as well…
But if it comes to that, I will be available for CDL pretest tutoring and can even offer up a couple of Trucking forums that are loaded with good info and great people, like here on gcaptain…As a bonus, these are all in the english language still…:D:D better hurry though!