Doug Bedell — July 31, 2007, 10:10 am

A Barrier Works, but What Then?

What do you do after a vehicle hits a barrier at your facility, should that unfortunate circumstance occur?

On July 30, a man crashed a car into a barrier outside the Oak Ridge, TN, nuclear weapons plant and ran away. The errant driver first was stopped at a security checkpoint near the rear entrance to the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant. He appeared to be impaired, guards said later. Asked for identification, the man drove through the checkpoint and crashed into security barriers deployed a short distance away.

He then jumped out of his car and ran away. Details of what happened next aren’t available. The news story simply reports, “Oak Ridge polce were searching for the man, who appeared to be running toward town.”

Bloggers drew inferences that the Oak Ridge gate wasn’t adequately staffed, or backed up. We don’t know what occurred, but it was highly unfortunate that the driver escaped the scene.

The point of all this is that installing barriers is only part of a perimeter security plan. Taking a systems approach, the plan should also envision how a would-be intruder would be apprehended once a barrier stops him. Such challenges aren’t always easy to sort out, but “pre-sorting” is critical to an effective plan.

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