WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that enrollment in the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program will begin at 10 more locations in the coming weeks. This program ensures that any individual who has unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels has received a thorough background check and is not a known security threat.
TWIC enrollment began Oct. 16, 2007 at the Port of Wilmington, Del. The addition of these 10 locations will bring the number of fixed enrollment centers open for enrollment to 88. Ultimately, the program will be rolled out to 147 fixed enrollment sites and will vet more than 1 million workers through 2008.
"TWIC is one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems and raises the bar on port security," said the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Maurine Fanguy, program director for TWIC. "We are off to a strong start with approximately 130,000 enrollments in the first four and half months."
Today, the TSA released specific dates for the following ports:
- Marine City, Mich. - March 5, 2008
- St. Louis, Mo. - March 5, 2008
- Palm Beach, Fla. - March 6, 2008
- St. Ignace, Mich. - March 6, 2008
- Newport News, Va. - March 12, 2008
- Panama City, Fla. - March 12, 2008
- San Diego, Calif. - March 13, 2008
- Gulfport, Miss. - March 19, 2008
- Key West, Fla. - March 19, 2008
- Traverse City, Mich. - March 20, 2008
Workers at these ports, as well as another 78 where enrollment has begun, are able to pre-enroll for TWIC on the TSA Web site. Pre-enrollment is intended to speed up the process by allowing workers to provide biographic information and schedule an appointment to complete the in-person enrollment process.
More information on the TWIC program is available at www.tsa.gov and additional information on port security is available at the U.S. Coast Guard's Homeport site at http://homeport.uscg.mil by clicking on the Maritime Security link.