Two- and Four-foot ID Advances

Legislation and technology blended earlier this spring to provide better identification for Americans and, ironically, their dogs.

Last month, the U.S. Senate in 100-0 vote approved the federal Real ID Act, which aims at standardizing and strengthening the security of state driver’s licenses. Previously, the U.S. House had voted approval. The Act, expected to be signed into law by President George Bush, may have a ripple effect on higher level security built into other types of identification cards and badges in the private sector.

In an unrelated move, vendors providing pet supplies started a push for a universal scanning device to read chips implanted in dogs, cats and other animals. Not surprisingly, the Real ID Act has garnered the most critical response.

There are two important aspects of Real ID. First, through state agencies, people requesting a driver’s license will one day have to provide several types of documentation while state agencies must verify the documents. Second, the Act will strongly encourage states to produce standardized, more tamper-resistant licenses that would include machine-readable, encoded data including a digital photo and probably a biometrics identifier.

Many states see Real ID as a mandate imposed by the federal government without accompanying funding.

The dog world is a gentler place.

For a number of years, owners have injected microchips in their household pets as well as high-ticket animals ranging from buffalo to race horses. The rice-sized device implanted in pets provides a permanent form of identification. According to a recent survey conducted by a U.S. distributor of microchips, nearly 90% of respondents were unaware that the United States is one of the only countries worldwide that does not have a universal scanner that can read all microchips. The U.S. push is now on for a universal scanner.

L.A. "Legend" Gets MESHed

A downtown Los Angeles heritage building called Pacific Electric Lofts, a legendary southern California high-rise, is installing a MESH access control and security system from Viscount Systems Inc., Burnaby, British Columbia. Dealer Certified Phone Solutions Sales Company will install access control for 300 apartment units. A main outside wall-mounted unit with vandal-resistant touch color screen will be installed as well as a built-in color camera to record photo ID of all inbound guests with time and date on a DVR recorder. A cable TV private channel interface to Main MESH panel will provide a live view of guest calling apartment, key fob readers will allow for 13 common doors for the pool, garden, business offices and a gym. A guard display unit will be monitored for security control, and a mini server installed for integration to security video.

For the Kids

ADT Security Services (Boca Raton, Fla.), the Miami Police Department and pro tennis recently joined forces to provide a group of kids from the 100 Black Men of South Florida a day full of tennis skills and safety tips during the NASDAQ-100 Open, one of the most prestigious titles in professional tennis. ADT has been a host sponsor of the tournament and exclusive electronic security partner since 2002. Pictured from left to right: Ann Linstrom, Director Communi-cations for ADT Security Services, Inc.; Arlene Williams, Miami Police Department; McGruff the Crime Dog; Lori McNeil, tennis pro; Rueben Stokes, executive director of Diversity for ADT.

Locking Out Theft in the Dorm

Lackawanna College, Scranton, Pa., recently brought in an anti-theft product for use by its students. The devices from The Steel Trust Co., Dunmore, Pa., and constructed of 18-gauge cold rolled steel tamper-proof security enclosures, were installed in dormitories. The enclosures are bolted into a closet in the dorm room to allow students to lock their belongings inside.

“I think they’re going to be a great benefit,” said Gail Scaramuzzo, chief administrative officer for the college. “We wanted a space that’s secure and safe for these kids. Now they can put their stuff away and go about their business.”

Hospital Mends MD Parking Woes

Barcode technology now plays a key hands-free role in controlling doctor access to a hospital’s parking facility.

As part of a planned physical expansion, the directors of the Wilson N. Jones Hospital in Sherman, Texas, addressed a parking issue by designating a gated parking area for the doctors. Ideally, the operational system would operate hands-free, to eliminate the necessity for hand-held clickers or cards, since these could prove costly to replace if damaged, lost, or stolen. The system should feature stamped time and date to track entry, be of a discreet design and offer easy installation and maintenance.

Nearly 400 miles away, Luther Bearden, a security dealer and owner of Bearden Construction in Batesville, Ark., faced this challenge following a call from WNJ’s project’s architect. Upon analysis, the key elements he considered were reliability under any condition, cost-effectiveness, user-friendly operation and easy maintenance. He suggested a low-cost barcode reader (Barcode Automation, Winter Springs, Fla.) with retro-reflective barcode decals. The system had already proven highly reliable for him. He was sure it would improve the operational efficiency at the physician’s lot.

Since installation, Lisa Widner, security supervisor at WNJ reports the BA-200 operates flawlessly. Because the lot also services the emergency room doctors, it remains quite active working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “It works fine considering all the cars entering and exiting all the time,” Widner said. “It keeps the doctors’ lot private and it is low maintenance.”

Bearden said the barcode labels proved to be cost-effective since hospitals replace them frequently because of high personnel turnover. Also, once attached the decals could not be lost, stolen, or loaned. Furthermore, the unique design does not allow the device to read photocopies.

Tulsa International Secures Concourse Exits

Tulsa International Airport (TIA) has selected new technology (ExitSentry, Cernium, St. Louis) to monitor airport concourse areas. The intelligent video monitoring technology prevents, detects and records exit lane intrusions by preventing individuals and objects from entering undetected into a concourse area through an exit lane in an effort to avoid security. The installation at TIA is one component of a recently completed overall update to the concourse, which includes a new centralized security processing center designed to improve safety, efficiency and passenger flow.

Through a system of video surveillance cameras, behavior-recognition software, audio and visual alerts, and digital recording devices, the intelligent video monitors for individuals and objects moving in the wrong direction through an exit area. If the system detects this activity, it triggers a warning, and if the intrusion continues further into the exit area, it activates a higher priority alarm mode.

IFPO and SPS to Honor Security Officer of the Year

The International Foundation for Protection Officers (IFPO) has a new program to honor these often-overlooked members of the protection industry. In conjunction with the Security Professionals Site (SPS) and Security Magazine, the IFPO is establishing an annual Security Officer of the Year award, the first winner to be announced on Nov. 15th, 2005. Nominees do not have to be members of the Foundation or SPS. Candidates for the award cannot be currently commissioned law enforcement officers because their deserving service is recognized in other forums.

Guidelines and forms: contact IFPO at (239) 430-0533 or on the Web at or SPS at