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  • Security concerns guards at ammo plant

    Saw this headline this morning and thought it would be of interest here

    "WASHINGTON -- Guards at a riverfront Army ammunition plant in Tennessee report that boaters have entered restricted areas, holes are often found in a perimeter fence and a government contractor steps up security to impress inspectors.

    One time, the guards say, two teenage runaways were found wandering around the 6,000-acre property after getting dangerously close to explosives.

    The Army says the plant is meeting Defense Department security standards.

    In written statements to lawmakers and in interviews with The Associated Press, about half a dozen security officers discussed alleged problems at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant. The facility in Kingsport, near the Virginia border in northeastern Tennessee about 100 miles from Knoxville, is a major supplier of explosives to the military since World War II.

    "We're really not prepared," Ron Nitrio, a security officer at the plant for 15 years, said in an interview. "If somebody wants to get in the base - they can get in almost anytime, almost anywhere."

    The company hired to provide security, Wackenhut Services Inc., said it is not aware of security lapses and contends the charges may be tied to wage and labor disputes at the plant. One disagreement involves a complaint by the guards that they are not paid as much as some other contractors at similar federal facilities.


    "There are no serious security problems at Holston, not that I'm aware of," said James Long III, Wackenhut's chief executive."

    The rest of the article:http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/nation..._Security.html

  • #2
    Standard WSI issues. WSI has lost many contracts, and then has Alliuq and others get the contracts, then sub them back to Wackenhut, using their preferencial status in bidding (Alaskan native, woman owned, minority owned, economically disadvantaged, etc.)
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

    Comment


    • #3
      That's it for Ron. He can kiss his job goodbye. It's simpler (and cheaper) to "fix" the employee than to correct the security problems.
      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mr. Security
        That's it for Ron. He can kiss his job goodbye. It's simpler (and cheaper) to "fix" the employee than to correct the security problems.
        You could be right. Holston was in the 1980s a Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) ammunition plant operated at the time I inspected by Proctor & Gamble.
        Government security personnel might be safe, contractor security, not so sure. If memory serves me, during WW II and Korean War guards were a mix of soldiers and contract guards and they were armed.
        Subsequent to that, P&G would not allow their guard force to be armed. They might in the intervening years, got out of that business. They manufactured some pretty wild stuff there throughout the years.
        I do not know if they are in care-taker status or storage only.
        Enjoy the day,
        Bill

        Comment


        • #5
          I simply do not understand relaxed security in a munitions facilty at all. The munitions supply points I have been assigned to time to time all have the same rules. Anything out of the ordinary and the alarm is sounded, the facility goes into full lockdown and the outer perimeter is fully secured ASAP. If you are inside and don't belong there, you had to get thru two or three barriers, so there are no questions (and we don't hold drills or training sessions 'inside' the fence). This report just amazes me. Unbelievable.
          Last edited by mh892; 09-25-2006, 10:51 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thats Uncle Sam.. Everything in the military is contracted out to the lowest bidder.. Quality is sacrificed for quantity. Springfield Armory makes some great weapons, but take the M-16A2, you can bend a truck load of gas rods easily. More quantity over quality.

            Sadly, As I was leaving the service, the base I was stationed at was using Government Contracted Security. They royally sucked. If my unit was tasked Red Faze, being Guard Mount detail for the next few months, we manned the gates, and checked vehicles in. Searches, Seizures, ID'ing every single person that wanted in. You couldnt sneak a sand pebble through the gates whenever you seen camo guards with M-16's.. But boy could my privates bring in the Barracks Bunnies by hiding them in the back of a tinted car, or even the trunk if you had private security at the gate. We had a large increase of non-DOD registered POVs rolling around base when the civilians were working the gates, but when the Soldiers did gate duty, every car had their DOD sticker that you seen rolling around on post.

            Their image was not impressive either. Professionalism by Soldiers was top notch, because the penalty was high if you were not at the position of ready when a car approached the gate. On the other hand, the private security officers wouldnt even leave the gaurd station to go outside and view the vehicle entering. Half the time they just waived cars through from their chairs. If they did come out, they had their hands in their pockets, they moved slowly, and shrugged their shoulders at you as you drove through. Some of them were more interested in talking to each other, then paying attention to their surroundings. Now, that wasnt always the case, taking for example when a military spouse was approaching, as it was a female, then they were happy to lean on the car after it stopped, with their hands hanging inside the window, and a stupid smurk on their faces.

            I used to watch this go on, and hope they made a move on an Officer's wife, or hoping they got their heads knocked off by a shooting subject, maybe then they would take their responsibility a little more serious.

            To this day, with my own department, my people know I allow alot of "down time", meaning when nothing is going on, its empty, that its Ok to come ot the office and shoot the breeze, as long as the property was covered by another. But I ever found them acting unprofessionally, as the Government Contracted Security Officers do, well, its time to pack it up and go home before I get my hands on them. And you know what, they can handle this responsibility by being professional, especially in view of others.

            I appologize for the ranting and raving, had to vent.. I just really despise these contractors, have no sympathy for them, and just want the standard followed. I understand "under funded" departments. But, they cant rely on the excuse of "under funding" or "not properly equipped" as an excuse to laziness. Sheesh, I could sit here and say "Well, because my mall cant afford to pay $20 an hour, we cant act professional"... Give me a break, keep vigilant, do the best you can with what ever job you choose. Take some self pride home with you every night!
            Deputy Sheriff

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mall Director
              Thats Uncle Sam.. Everything in the military is contracted out to the lowest bidder.. Quality is sacrificed for quantity. Springfield Armory makes some great weapons, but take the M-16A2, you can bend a truck load of gas rods easily. More quantity over quality.

              Sadly, As I was leaving the service, the base I was stationed at was using Government Contracted Security. They royally sucked. If my unit was tasked Red Faze, being Guard Mount detail for the next few months, we manned the gates, and checked vehicles in. Searches, Seizures, ID'ing every single person that wanted in. You couldnt sneak a sand pebble through the gates whenever you seen camo guards with M-16's.. But boy could my privates bring in the Barracks Bunnies by hiding them in the back of a tinted car, or even the trunk if you had private security at the gate. We had a large increase of non-DOD registered POVs rolling around base when the civilians were working the gates, but when the Soldiers did gate duty, every car had their DOD sticker that you seen rolling around on post.

              Their image was not impressive either. Professionalism by Soldiers was top notch, because the penalty was high if you were not at the position of ready when a car approached the gate. On the other hand, the private security officers wouldnt even leave the gaurd station to go outside and view the vehicle entering. Half the time they just waived cars through from their chairs. If they did come out, they had their hands in their pockets, they moved slowly, and shrugged their shoulders at you as you drove through. Some of them were more interested in talking to each other, then paying attention to their surroundings. Now, that wasnt always the case, taking for example when a military spouse was approaching, as it was a female, then they were happy to lean on the car after it stopped, with their hands hanging inside the window, and a stupid smurk on their faces.

              I used to watch this go on, and hope they made a move on an Officer's wife, or hoping they got their heads knocked off by a shooting subject, maybe then they would take their responsibility a little more serious.

              To this day, with my own department, my people know I allow alot of "down time", meaning when nothing is going on, its empty, that its Ok to come ot the office and shoot the breeze, as long as the property was covered by another. But I ever found them acting unprofessionally, as the Government Contracted Security Officers do, well, its time to pack it up and go home before I get my hands on them. And you know what, they can handle this responsibility by being professional, especially in view of others.

              I appologize for the ranting and raving, had to vent.. I just really despise these contractors, have no sympathy for them, and just want the standard followed. I understand "under funded" departments. But, they cant rely on the excuse of "under funding" or "not properly equipped" as an excuse to laziness. Sheesh, I could sit here and say "Well, because my mall cant afford to pay $20 an hour, we cant act professional"... Give me a break, keep vigilant, do the best you can with what ever job you choose. Take some self pride home with you every night!
              Just a note so someone does not get the idea "all" GCSO's (Gov't Contract Security Officers) are the same, what you have experienced is true in 'some' locations. For the most part GCSO's are well trained, well paid and serious about the job. I have been at this since 1966 as Military, Civil Service and Gov't Contract and I actually like my job (did I say that?). We get annual training, have the needed equipment (sometimes a duty belt that would make Batman envious, plus extra iron) and a lot of respect. We respect the people we work for and with and like the job mainly because we are respected and thought enough of, to be provided up to date training and proper equipment. And some of the assignments (as they say in Hollyweed) are to kill for (thats humor so don't anybody get thier panties in a bunch).

              I take no offense at your comments as I have seen the same. Just want to give "the rest of the story". Now. Produce proper I.D. or turn around and head out Mister.

              Comment


              • #8
                I am very pleased to hear that you do take your role seriousely, now if you can infect some others then we will have it made.Thumbs up!
                Deputy Sheriff

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hopefully by now everyone should appreciate this forum. The information is priceless and we can really learn from one another.
                  Way to go guys!!
                  Enjoy the day,
                  Bill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A plant mailman was asked to patrol the perimeter as if he was a security guard to help boost Wackenhut's marks during an inspection.
                    This is sad and a serious matter. If Wackenhut loses this contract, which it most likely will in due time, the next contractor will be watched over like a hawk, but once DoD stops the contractors will lacks and the same thing may happen again. It all depends on management.
                    DizZy SO

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DizZy SO
                      This is sad and a serious matter. If Wackenhut loses this contract, which it most likely will in due time, the next contractor will be watched over like a hawk, but once DoD stops the contractors will lacks and the same thing may happen again. It all depends on management.
                      Makes sense, especially if they have the guards helping with the mail as another value added service.
                      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mr. Security
                        Makes sense, especially if they have the guards helping with the mail as another value added service.
                        If you have a good contracting officer, things like that are kept to an absolute minimum. In many instances, the contracting officers are spread so thin they can't do the job properly.
                        Enjoy the day,
                        Bill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have heard of other sites that are similar and have the same problems. Here in Tucson we have an Air force base that catches illegal aliens on base all the time. I won't post how they do it here but it is fairly simple.

                          The problem with situations such as these are the fact that a person can't be everywhere at once. The security patrols have a large problem with these large sites. The number of personnel it would take to keep the whole site secure is tremendous. They need to put remote systems along the perimeter of the site and have a command and control to dispatch in the event of an intrusion. There are many products out on the market just for situations such as this. Obviously I would recommend the one we make. Security guards are a major deterrant but not the only one. Even guards need back-up on large facilities. They need a complete comprehensive system.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rooney
                            I have heard of other sites that are similar and have the same problems. Here in Tucson we have an Air force base that catches illegal aliens on base all the time. I won't post how they do it here but it is fairly simple.

                            The problem with situations such as these are the fact that a person can't be everywhere at once. The security patrols have a large problem with these large sites. The number of personnel it would take to keep the whole site secure is tremendous. They need to put remote systems along the perimeter of the site and have a command and control to dispatch in the event of an intrusion. There are many products out on the market just for situations such as this. Obviously I would recommend the one we make. Security guards are a major deterrant but not the only one. Even guards need back-up on large facilities. They need a complete comprehensive system.
                            Especially at sites that would be targeted by terrorists who understand how to use distractions and other techniques to bypass security officers. Securing such sites is much like securing a maximum-security prison, the difference being that you want to keep unwanted parties outside the perimeter instead of inside.
                            Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                            Comment

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