Monday, September 16, 2013


Given what happened today at the Washington Navy Yard, we can be sure as anything that we’ll see many reminders out at work to keep our ID badges close to our hearts.

Preliminary reports say the individual who killed at least 13 people at the Navy yard likely had an accomplice who gave him an ID card or had a stolen card he used to gain entry to the facility.
We could indeed see more than just reminders – we may see physical changes.
A few months ago, the place where I work dropped the requirement that we show our badges to security officers before we went through the turnstyles. And by show, I mean hold them up in our hands as we walk briskly by the security desk before going in to work.
Other places at the Idaho National Laboratory, of which I’m familiar, had more stringent entry procedures. One spot in particular required the guards to physically touch the badge, comparing photo to the person holding it. It’s been a while since I’ve been there, so I’m not sure if that procedure is still in place.
It’s likely we’ll be headed back that direction.
I’ll wager we not only go back to physical badge checks, but that the badges are also checked up close in a way to determine whether or not the badge holder matches the badge.
We’re not necessarily a top-secret installation, but for those bent on mayhem, top secret isn’t required. Nor, really, is an ID badge, since we now walk past the desk without showing our badges, and leaping over the turnstyles would be simple enough to accomplish.
Another side note: It’s pretty clear that armed guards and Washington DC police in the area, who returned fire with the shooter, saved lives. ABC News reports that Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier said “I think the actions by the police officers, without question, helped to reduce the number of lives lost.” Both sides of the gun control debate are likely to chew on that bone for a long while.

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