Building Access

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This directive is for internal use only and does not enlarge an employee’s civil liability in any way. The directive should not be construed as creating a higher duty of care, in an evidentiary sense, with respect to third party civil claims against employees. Violations of this directive, if proven, can only form the basis of a complaint by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office for non-judicial administrative action in accordance with the rules and laws governing employee discipline.
DIRECTIVE TYPE: POLICY SUBJECT: Building Access NUMBER: IT-600.01
APPROVED BY: Sheriff Ken Christesen EFFECTIVE DATE: 12/6/2015
Not Applicable LAST MODIFIED: 6/27/2017 LAST REVIEW: 6/6/2017


PURPOSE:


In order to provide a safe environment, maintain security, and assist in accountability during emergencies, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office has developed a set protocol governing the control of, and access to, all of its facilities.


POLICY:


Any person entering a Sheriff’s Office facility, who is not a current employee of the Sheriff’s Office, must either be escorted in areas designated as secure, or undergo a fingerprinted background check. All visitors, regardless of status or function, must sign in and sign out at the front desk unless otherwise specified in this policy. Furthermore, the Sheriff’s Office prohibits unauthorized persons from having physical or visual access to any secure computer or paperwork that contains CJI/CHRI information.


DEFINITIONS:


The following definitions will apply for the purposes of this policy:


  • Criminal Justice Information/Criminal History Record Information (CJI/CHRI) – Any criminal information that is sensitive in nature and obtained from local, state, and federal databases, such as:


  • Interstate Identification Index (III),
  • National Crime Information Center (NCIC),
  • Motor Vehicle Division Records, or
  • Any other files or databases deemed as CJI or CHRI by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety or the FBI.


  • Facilities – Any building or structure belonging to the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office that houses electronics or paperwork containing CJI/CHRI information.


  • HID Access Cards – An electronic token or card that allows passage through designated doors via a proximity reader.


  • Pre-Designated, Non-Secure Area – Any area of a Sheriff’s Office facility that does not allow direct access to secure computers or CJI/CHRI information. These areas may include publicly accessible areas of Sheriff’s Office facilities and limited access areas such as the front lobby and gym.


  • Secure Device – Any electronic device that has been authorized to connect to the Sheriff’s Office network in a manner that allows it to authenticate with Active Directory.


  • Security Badges – Badges worn by visitors to Sheriff’s Office facilities. There are three categories of security badges:


  • NCIC Verified Visitor – A card style badge with white letters over a green background stating “NCIC VERIFIED VISITOR”, and containing the name and photograph of the person to whom it is issued. NCIC Verified Visitor badges expire 1 year from the date of issuance. NCIC verified visitors are permitted to escort those holding a Restricted Access badge while in a Sheriff’s Office facility.


  • Restricted Access – A uniquely numbered, card style badge with white letters over a red background stating “RESTRICTED ACCESS”. At no time will a person in possession of a restricted access badge be in a position to have physical or visual contact with any secure computer or any paperwork that contains CJI/CHRI information. Visitors wearing these badges are prohibited access to any area of the facilities marked “Restricted Access” unless he or she is accompanied by an employee escort.


  • Volunteer – A card style badge that clearly states the bearer is a volunteer with the Sheriff’s Office and contains the name and photograph of the person to whom it is issued.


PROCEDURE:


ISSUANCE OF SECURITY BADGES/HID ACCESS CARDS


NCIC Verified Visitor and Volunteer badges will be issued only after determining a necessity for such and undergoing a fingerprinted background check. Any person possessing a security badge is subject to an annual background check after verifying that the he or she still has a necessity for the security clearance.


HID access cards will be issued on an as-needed basis and only to those possessing an NCIC Verified Visitor badge (unless otherwise specified in this policy).


No person who possesses a Sheriff’s Office security badge or HID access card may lend or give the card to another person. For accountability purposes, HID access card usage is logged by the Sheriff’s Office IT Department.


Once receiving their badge and/or HID access card, recipients must sign for it, acknowledging that any lost, damaged, destroyed, and/or faded badges or cards must be immediately reported to the Sheriff’s Office IT Department via the helpdesk system.


Persons found to be in violation of this policy are subject to having their facility access revoked at the discretion of the Sheriff.


MISSING SECURITY BADGES/HID ACCESS CARDS


If an NCIC verified visitor does not have their security badge or HID access card but needs access to the building, their identification and NCIC verified status will be confirmed and a temporary pass given.


FACILITY ACCESS


Access to Sheriff’s Office facilities will be permitted pursuant to the following parameters:


OUTSIDE CERTIFIED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS


Certified law enforcement officers who are openly displaying their badge of office must be verified as an expected/authorized visitor. For accountability, these officers must sign into the log book at the front desk and sign out upon their departure. Officers are not required to wear a security badge if they are openly displaying their badge of office throughout the duration of their visit.


Certified law enforcement officers who are not openly displaying their badge of office must first be verified as an expected/authorized visitor and produce valid credentials proving they are a certified law enforcement officer. For accountability, these officers must sign into the log book at the front desk and sign out upon their departure. A Restricted Access badge will then be issued by the front desk. This must be worn in a conspicuous location on their person during the duration of their visit and be returned upon their departure.


Certified law enforcement officers who enter a Sheriff’s Office facility during non-business hours are not required to sign into the log book or be issued a security badge.


Upon approval from the Sheriff, a certified law enforcement officer from another agency may be issued a Sheriff’s Office HID access card. These officers are exempt from the rules listed above and have free access to the facilities that their HID access card allows them into. For verification and identification purposes, these officers must display their badge of office in a conspicuous location on their person throughout the duration of their visit. An exception is for use of the gym facilities.  


CIVILIANS POSSESSING AN NCIC VERIFIED VISITOR BADGE AND HID ACCESS CARD


These people may choose to bypass the front desk sign-in and use their HID access card for entry into the building. Throughout the duration of their visit to a Sheriff’s Office facility, the NCIC Verified Visitor badge must be worn in a conspicuous location.


CIVILIAN VISITORS


Any person not covered elsewhere in this policy, to include family members and friends of employees must be verified as an expected/authorized visitor. Prior to proceeding past the front desk area, these visitors must sign in and present a valid, government issued, photo identification. The identification will be stored at the front desk throughout the duration of the visit. After signing in, these visitors will be issued a Restricted Access badge by the front desk which must be worn in a conspicuous location on their person throughout the duration of their visit. These visitors must be escorted at all times unless he or she is in a pre-designated, non-secure area. Prior to leaving the facility, the visitor will return the Restricted Access badge, sign out of the visitor log book, and have their photo identification returned.


For persons arriving at a Sheriff’s Office facility for a scheduled class, a Restricted Access badge will be issued by the person working the check-in desk and may be retained by the student for the duration of the class. Class issued badges may also have HID access built into them for the purposes of allowing access to the classroom.


Juvenile visitors under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult at all times during their visit. These visitors must be signed into the log book at the front desk by their supervising adult, and signed out upon their departure. While juveniles are not issued a security badge, their supervising adult, if not an employee of the Sheriff’s Office, must adhere to the guidelines set forth in this policy.


Visitors, elected officials, and department heads whose identity can be positively verified by the escorting employee or front desk staff member are not required to provide identification but must still sign in and be issued the appropriate badge as required by this policy.


VOLUNTEERS


Volunteers are required to undergo a fingerprinted background check prior to being issued a Volunteer badge. For accountability purposes, every volunteer must sign into the log book at the front desk and sign out upon their departure unless he or she has been issued an HID access card. The Volunteer badge must be worn in a conspicuous location on the volunteer’s person during the duration of their visit. In the event a volunteer has not successfully undergone a fingerprinted background check, the civilian visitor procedure will apply to the volunteer until the background check is completed.


RESERVE SPECIAL DEPUTIES


Due to their commissioned status, active reserve special deputies are issued a commission card in lieu of a security badge. Reserve special deputies, whether on-duty or off-duty, are not required to display their commission card while in a Sheriff’s Office facility. Reserve cadets are issued volunteer badges and regulated by the volunteer criteria until their successful completion of the reserve academy.


CIVILIAN RIDE-ALONG PARTICIPATION


Persons authorized to ride with a deputy must pass a III background check prior to being allowed to participate in the program. These persons may enter and exit Sheriff’s Office facilities when escorted by the deputy they are assigned to ride with, and only during the duration of their scheduled ride-along. At no time will they be given an HID access card.


Deputies will make a reasonable effort to prevent a ride-along from having physical or visual contact with any secure computer, to include an MDT, or any paperwork that contains CJI/CHRI information.


BUILDING MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL – LONG TERM/REGULAR MAINTENANCE


Maintenance personnel assigned to a Sheriff’s Office facility must successfully undergo a fingerprinted background check and be issued an NCIC Verified Visitor badge. This badge must be worn in a conspicuous location on their person for the duration of their visit. Access to a Sheriff’s Office facility by maintenance personnel who have not successfully undergone a fingerprinted background check is prohibited.


OUTSIDE CONTRACTORS AND VENDORS – REGULAR/LONG-TERM CONTRACTS


Regular and long-term outside contractors and vendors are required to undergo a fingerprinted background check prior to being issued an NCIC Verified Visitor badge. Upon entry into the building, this badge will be inspected by the front desk to ensure that it is current, and belongs to the bearer. For accountability purposes, every regular and long-term outside contractor and vendor must sign into the log book at the front desk and sign out upon their departure. The NCIC Verified Visitor badge must be worn in a conspicuous location on their person during the duration of their visit.


If an NCIC Verified Visitor badge is found to be expired, a fingerprinted background check must be successfully passed before re-issuance. In these circumstances, the civilian visitor procedure will apply until the background check is completed.


OUTSIDE CONTRACTORS AND VENDORS – SHORT-TERM WORK


Temporary outside contractors and vendors are required to follow the same protocol and are bound by the same restrictions as civilian visitors. These visitors are prohibited from being allowed to work on, or use, any computer system belonging to the Sheriff’s Office.


OFFICIAL AUDITORS & INSPECTORS


Any official auditor/inspector visiting a Sheriff’s Office facility for official purposes will be issued a Restricted Access badge after their identification has been verified. For accountability purposes, these visitors must sign into the log book at the front desk and sign out upon their departure. Auditors and inspectors must be escorted at all times while inside a Sheriff’s Office facility. An exception to the restricted access guidelines will be made for auditors and inspectors by means of an allowance to have visual and/or physical access to secure computers or paperwork. This access is limited to the requirement of their specific area(s) of audit/inspection.


DELIVERY PERSONNEL


Delivery personnel are only allowed to enter a Sheriff’s Office facility for the purpose of package delivery or retrieval. Access beyond the immediate area of the front desk is not permitted. Delivery personnel required to go elsewhere in the facility will adhere to the Civilian Visitors procedure.


CONVICTED FELONS


Unless given prior written exemption by New Mexico DPS (NCIC Division) no convicted felon will be issued a security badge. At no time will any convicted felon be issued an HID access card for any reason. Convicted felons are prohibited from accessing any part of a Sheriff’s Office facility unless being detained or escorted by law enforcement personnel for official law enforcement purposes. At no time will a convicted felon, while being escorted or detained, be in a position to have physical or visual contact with any secure computer or any paperwork that contains CJI/CHRI information.


TRUSTEES


Trustees are prohibited from being in a Sheriff’s Office facility unless being detained or escorted by law enforcement personnel for official law enforcement investigative purposes.


FACILITY TOURS


Due to the nature of being a public entity, tours of Sheriff’s Office facilities may occur. For accountability purposes, every guest attending a tour must sign into the log book at the front desk and sign out upon their departure. Restricted Access badges will be issued to members of tour groups. Tours must be escorted at all times while inside a Sheriff’s Office facility. Persons participating in a tour must remain with their group and are prohibited from being in a position to have physical or visual contact with any secure computer or any paperwork that contains CJI/CHRI information. It is the responsibility of all employees to ensure sensitive information is removed from view during a facility tour.


INVESTIGATIONS


In the event a member of the public is brought in to a Sheriff’s Office facility as part of an investigation, (e.g., a suspect or family member for interviewing), it is allowable to bring the person(s) in through the employee entrance nearest to the interview rooms without logging their entry. All such persons must be escorted by law enforcement personnel at all times and are prohibited from being in a position to have physical or visual contact with any secure computer or any paperwork that contains CJI/CHRI information.


EMERGENCY EVENT ACCESS (Under 48hrs in Duration)


In the event of an emergency that requires an outside agency to access a Sheriff’s Office facility or section of a facility, and the event does not exceed 48 hours in duration, the outside agency will be allowed access to the room(s) needed for addressing the event, but are prohibited from being in a position to have physical or visual contact with any secure computer or any paperwork that contains CJI/CHRI information. An exception to this rule lies with outside agency personnel who are certified law enforcement officers viewing the CJI/CHRI information as a required part of a law enforcement function for the event. All outside agency personnel will be escorted at all times by a Sheriff’s Office employee.


EMERGENCY EVENT ACCESS (Exceeding 48hrs in Duration)


In the event of an emergency that requires outside agencies to access a Sheriff’s Office facility or section of a facility, and the event exceeds, or is predicted to exceed 48 hours in duration, the outside agency will provide a list to the Sheriff’s Office supervisor in charge of the incident of all personnel who will require access to the facility. Each person will be issued an HID access card that will only work on the doors they are authorized to access. Outside agency personnel must display some form of identification and/or wear a uniform that clearly identifies their agency. The outside agency is responsible for ensuring that only pre-authorized personnel from their agency who have been issued an HID access card are accessing the facilities. Outside agencies found to be in violation of this policy are subject to removal from Sheriff’s Office facilities at the discretion of the Sheriff.


At no time will outside agency personnel be in a position to have physical or visual contact with any secure computer or any paperwork that contains CJI/CHRI information. An exception to this lies with outside agency personnel who are certified law enforcement officers viewing the CJI/CHRI information as a required part of a law enforcement function for the event.


TASK FORCE, JOINT OPERATIONS & LAW ENFORCEMENT NETWORKING


The Sheriff’s Office frequently participates in cooperative law enforcement networking; task forces; and joint operations involving law enforcement personnel from outside the San Juan County area. In these situations, all involved participants must follow the rules for outside certified law enforcement officers as listed above. The viewing of CJI/CHRI information as it relates to these situations is allowed by certified law enforcement officers only. Hard copy dissemination of CJI/CHRI information to outside agencies/personnel is prohibited.


SECURITY CHALLENGE OF EMPLOYEES


Any Sheriff’s Office Employee who encounters a person that is not properly identified as described above is encouraged to question that person’s authorization to be present in a Sheriff’s Office facility and can ask them to leave the facility (or area of a facility) if they determine that the person is not authorized to be in the location found.