Virginia Port Launches Trusted Agent Program

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Orsus(R) announced that the Virginia Port Authority has initiated a project to leverage Orsus' Situator(TM) to monitor visitors without the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).

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.

Situator is a comprehensive Situation Management software platform that delivers clarity and control to enterprise control rooms - enabling better coordination of the interaction between people, alerting sources, and responses. Situator is available and fully supported in North America and around the world through a network of security and safety integrators.

(www.orsus.com)

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