Rapid streamlines security process

Those traveling on The Rapid may not notice a recent addition to the public transportation provider's security system, but Rapid officials say it goes a long way toward keeping riders safe.

The Rapid recently purchased a security card printer that gives the organization the ability to print its own employee identification cards on site, streamlining the security process.

Building access and employee identification plays an important role in securing people and vehicles at The Rapid, said Sec Garcia, facilities manager for The Rapid.

"All our buildings must be secure," Garcia said.

The Rapid has proximity card readers installed on all its buildings, meaning ID cards are required to gain access to The Rapid's facilities after hours.

The cards are also needed to access all nonpublic facilities at The Rapid.

Garcia said the proximity card readers were a great addition to the safety and security at The Rapid, but the creation of ID cards proved to be a clumsy part of the security process.

He often found he needed ID cards quickly for new hires or to allow contractors access to the building.

"We were contracting the creation of our ID cards to another company," Garcia said. "I would send them the picture and a week later the ID card would arrive. The process proved to be too cumbersome and expensive for our needs."

So Garcia began searching for a solution.

He eventually discovered IDville, a Grand Rapids company that specializes in identity solutions. IDville provided a system that included all of the features and capabilities Garcia wanted.

"Now, we'll be printing the picture of the employee or contractor along with our logo and the department on a label to apply directly to the proximity cards," said Garcia.

The addition of an in-house identification system will help The Rapid save time and money, Garcia said.

Instead of paying a fee per card and having a one-week wait time, Garcia can now have cards ready immediately for contractors and new staff.

"We just hired 30 new bus drivers who started training in September," said Garcia. "Now I can take their picture and hand them their new ID card that day on site."

Read the original here: http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2011/01/cascades_idville_revamps_its_i.html