Brivo Access Control Technology Selected for DHS Land Port of Entry Facilities
Brivo Systems LLC, provider of software-as-a- service applications for security management, recently announced that its Aparato ACS is being installed at four Department of Homeland Security-managed Land Port of Entry (LPOE) facilities in the state of Michigan. Vector Electric is the lead integrator on this growing project and is working in partnership with ADT Commercial Security.
The facilities, equipped with detention cells designed to temporarily detain subjects for security purposes, are located at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, the Fort Street Cargo Facility in Detroit, the Blue Water Bridge between the U.S. and Canada, and the International Bridge at Sault Ste. Marie, MI. All the facilities were previously equipped with legacy access control systems. The Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), issued in 2004, mandated certain compliance measures that required the legacy equipment to be updated or removed.
The General Services Administration, manager of all Federal government buildings, approached Vector Electric, Inc. (VEI) requesting that an additional technological feature be included in any upgrade: a “guard tour” capability, utilizing existing PIV cards that would provide an audit trail of guard visitations to each detention cell and document that detainees are being properly monitored. PIV cards, smart identity cards issued to government employees in compliance with HSPD-12, have actually created a platform whereby agencies can manage both physical and logical access control for all their employees through a single integrated system.
Duane Pittman, President of Vector, contacted a number of top access control providers but was surprised to find only one company willing to make the R&D investment needed to compete for this prized business. “That says something, Brivo was the only company willing to take the time to design the software this customer wanted and to make it non-proprietary,” related Pittman. “As the DHS upgrades these and other detention facilities around the country, we are providing a model both for the detention center audit trails, but also for the overall access control needs of each facility, should the GSA and the DHS decide to go in that direction.”
Each of these Land Port of Entry facilities, also known as Federal Inspection Sites, has their own set of detention cells designed to temporarily detain subjects for security purposes. The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel installation served as the beta site to test the “guard tour” capabilities of the Brivo system, and the guard tour function has now been extended to two of the other facilities to date. The Brivo system is programmed to read the officers’ existing PIV cards, so no new, separate cards are needed.
After a number of months of beta-testing the guard tour functionality, Pittman was hearing that the staff wanted more from the system. “We had to identify the biggest challenges they were facing. Turns out the guards need to document the detainees’ condition after taking each tour and this was generating a lot of paper. With software upgrades to the Brivo Aparato, we were able to duplicate the required DHS form in the Brivo system interface—no wasted paper, everything is in one place, and the form is compliant with DHS requirements.”
After gaining exposure and confidence with the Brivo management system, the GSA decided to expand from just the guard tour capability to employing Brivo for access control at an entire facility. The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel site now uses Brivo to manage a total of approximately 100 doors. In addition to access control, the buildings are equipped with a video surveillance system comprised of 300 cameras, and VEI has proposed that the video be integrated into the Brivo system in the future.
Pittman again, “Departments like Homeland Security are facing some major challenges brought on by HSPD-12 and related PIV requirements. Our experience over the last year with these facilities demonstrates that we’ve got an attractive potential solution to address these challenges: Brivo’s technology, ADT Commercial Security’s market presence and reach, and Vector’s proven track record of success working across numerous government agencies. The combined Brivo/ADT/Vector team offers all government agencies the ability to implement HSPD-12 and PACS management using government-issued PIV cards in a seamless, painless manner.”