Petty Officer 3rd Class Jarrod Bohler (MST3) and Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin Biss (MST3) talk with a truck driver about his transportation worker identification credential as he attempts to enter the port of Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 5, 2008. (Coast Guard photo/PA2 Bobby Nash)

Coast Guard Deploys New Handheld Scanners to Check Port Workers

The Coast Guard has deployed hundreds of new handheld fingerprint sensors at ports to enforce the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) system.

Parroco Security Integration Group (P-SIG) has worked with the Coast Guard, Army and Customs and Border Protection over the past several years on various biometric and anti-terrorism support. The Mozaic ID device uses the Columbo biometric fingerprint sensor from Integrated Biometrics.

P-SIG CEO Jim Parroco told HSToday that the Coast Guard was looking for “a stand-alone device with a rapid learning curve, with full biometrics validation in compliance with the proposed reader rule.”

The Coast Guard then needed “successful testing to meet all required program modalities without needing to change screens for each mode of operation” and “intuitive automated operator use.”

“MozaicID easily fills the needs of cruise terminals to solve the variable perimeter controls  required for ship turnaround,” Parroco said. “Rapid to deploy, simple solution for instant perimeter control.”

Under the Maritime Transportation Security Act, the TWIC system requires screening of employees with access to vessels and sensitive port infrastructure — areas vulnerable to a terrorist attack. The Transportation Security Administration issues the TWIC cards including biometric data after a security threat assessment of the applicant.

More than two million TWIC cards have been issued since the program was put in place in 2002.

“After 9/11, Homeland Security put TWIC in place to secure the nation’s cargo facilities against attack,” David Gerulski, executive vice president of Integrated Biometrics, said in a statement. “These are workplaces where ease of use, durability and simplicity are key, and where environmental conditions can be harsh.”

Mozaic ID is compliant with Coast Guard reader requirements and compatible with TWIC, CAC, PIV, PIV-I and other Smartcards.

Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera and SiriusXM.

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