FedExField and Redskins Park are the two focal points of Washington D.C.’s professional football team. Each of these facilities — one in Landover, Md., the other in Ashburn, Va. — receive hundreds of visitors per week, with many more during the football season. These visitors include fans on tours, contractors, vendors, and VIPs.
Guest and employee security are key priorities for business and team officials. For the Washington Redskins, managing visitors at both locations posed challenges to protecting players, personnel and facilities:
One challenge was managing visitor badges. A guest would sign in at the front desk and receive a temporary badge, but then leave through a different facility exit. Visitor badges ended up being lost (and visitors status unknown as to whether they had left the facility), which opened the door to possible security risks.
Another challenge was tracking and vetting visitors to prevent entry by people who weren’t authorized at either facility. At FedExField, officials posted photos of persons of interest or barred from the facility on a wall in the security office near the loading dock, where deliveries were made, and visually eyeballed them to find faces that matched drivers’ licenses of people asking to be admitted.
To increase the safety of people and facilities at both locations, team officials asked Telos ID, the company’s subsidiary for identity solutions, to design and implement a visitor management system specifically for its needs.
The system maintains a central database at FedExField of information on visitors at both locations. Personnel at the front desk at each facility scan a visitor’s driver’s license and verify whether the visitor is already in the system. If it’s a first-time visitor, their data is populated in the system.
The system then prints out a paper adhesive badge — customizable by date and facility access privilege — with the visitor’s name, photo, a barcode, and expiration date for that day. The badge is a thermal label that turns black after about 12 hours, ensuring that the badge can’t be used after its expiration date.
Just as important, visitors can be checked against an internal watch list maintained for both locations. A visitor who appears on that list can be denied entry or flagged for further scrutiny. A visitor can also be added to the list should conditions warrant.
The system also captures and logs detailed information to provide a complete access history. This capability proved its value recently when security officials were asked to confirm the dates of attendance for some visitors and guests. With the system in place, officials were able to quickly verify their attendance on the date in question.
The system has made signing in visitors and checking them against the watch list faster and more accurate. Security officials no longer have to visually scan a wall of photos and compare those faces with the one on a driver’s license; those photos have been removed. The system knows who has visited before, who is okay to enter, and who needs special handling. The self-expiring visitor badges have also done away with lost or stolen temporary badges.