Cpl. Tonie Gezzi, with the Marine Corps Police Department at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., and her working dog walk a vehicle vehicle during a checkpoint inspection. People passing through military gates could now face FBI checks. (Verda L. Parker/Marine Corps)
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Some military installations are now able to run FBI background checks on anyone trying to pass through their gates.
In what is partly a response to the mass shooting in September at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., when a gunman fatally shot 12 people and injured three others, the Pentagon fast-tracked the development of a forcewide screening system known as the Identity Matching Engine for Security and Analysis, or IMESA.
IMESA “will run the name of anyone visiting a DoD facility through a comprehensive check of data sources — such as the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System and the Terrorist Screening Database — that would indicate past criminal behavior, outstanding warrants, and other similar information,” according to an independent review of the Navy Yard shooting.
The system launched in mid-August, said Defense Department spokeswoman Army Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson. What you need to know:
System to be phased in
While the system was implemented Aug. 8, not all installations have the capability yet. However, Henderson said all the services have a long-range plan to connect their individual installations to IMESA. Initially, full access to the IMESA will be limited to some Air Force, Army, Marine, and Defense Logistics Agency installations, Henderson said.
The IMESA system can both verify the validity of an approved federal credential, and match that identity or the name and Social Security number of a visitor against the National Crime Information Center Wanted Persons File.
If someone is flagged
When gate personnel using IMESA match a person to the NCIC Wanted Persons File, the base or post is required to determine the status of the outstanding arrest warrant and to contact the originating law enforcement agency to determine what to do with the suspect.
People not affiliated with the Defense Department will be asked to provide identification with enough information to be run through IMESA.
Service members should glide through
The information that is entered into IMESA is already contained in DoD’s personnel database or local databases created by DoD installations of individuals affiliated with DoD by employment on that installation.