SANDUSKY, Ohio – Today, port workers, longshore workers, truckers and others at the Port of Sandusky will begin to enroll in the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The program's goal is to ensure 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 security threat.
Nationwide, more than 1.2 million workers with unescorted access to secure areas will apply for TWIC by the end of enrollment in April 2009.
"The start of enrollment is one more step in our effort to prevent persons who are a threat from gaining access to secure areas of port facilities," said Maurine Fanguy, TWIC Program Director for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). "We appreciate the support of our partners at the Port of Sandusky for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."
Sandusky is the 103rd port to begin enrollment since the program began in October 2007. Ultimately, established fixed enrollment centers will be in place at 147 ports along with mobile enrollment centers at dozens of other locations as needed.
"TWIC is an important initiative to strengthen security and access control for key port facilities and vessels, and is part of an overall government initiative to bolster transportation security," said Coast Guard Captain Patrick Brennan, the Commander of Sector Detroit. "It is vital to our multifaceted risk-based approach to maritime domain awareness, ensuring the protection of facilities, our ports and the vessels that sail our waters."
Workers at the Port of Sandusky are able to pre-enroll for TWIC online at the Coast Guard's Homeport site, http://homeport.uscg.mil. Pre-enrolling speeds up the process by allowing workers to provide biographic information and schedule a time to complete the application process in person. This eliminates waiting at enrollment centers and reduces the time it takes to enroll each individual.