By Amy Perry, Fort Lee Public Affairs
FORT LEE, Va. – The implementation of new Army-mandated access control measures at Fort Lee has resulted in the denial of 566 individuals since its inception June 15.
Of those denials, there have been 87 waiver requests, 72 of which were approved, said Maj. Joe Tull, Fort Lee Provost Marshal.
Those wanting unescorted access to the installation – and not in possession of a DOD common access card, a retiree ID card or a dependent ID card – have to go through a National Crime Information Center Interstate Identification Index background check.
“Right now, we are denying access to those with one felony conviction in the last 10 years or three misdemeanors in the last 5 years,” said Tull. “We are looking for a significant event – like a felony – or a pattern of lower-level events in a condensed period of time.”
An active warrant also will result in denial of access to the installation. Tull said when those pop up, they usually pass them off to local police authorities. Those with out-of-state warrants are handled on a case-by-case basis, as some warrants are non-extraditable.
Those who are denied access can submit supporting documentation for review by a waiver board that includes several members of the Directorate of Emergency Services, said Tull.
“We look at the application and we classify them as low, medium or high risk,” he said. “Those classifications help determine what we are going to do. For example, we have a high risk individual who is on contract, but maybe they had something in their past that was pretty severe, nothing in the past 8 years or so, and they are working and trying to do the right thing. As an extra precaution, we may only give them a 30 or 90-day pass. That way, we get a chance to review them again.”
Those who receive denials from the waiver board can request a garrison commander review. Of the 15 waiver denials, five have appealed to the garrison commander. Two of those have been approved, one has been denied and two others are still under review.
“We can rest assured that those who enter Fort Lee are not those who may jeopardize the safety and security of those who live and work here, said Tony DeWitt, director of Emergency Services.”
Tull said security personnel are seeing Soldiers’ parents attempting to gain unescorted access to the installation to attend graduation ceremonies and are receiving denials because they are unaware of the process. Because they are only in town for a few days, they don’t have a chance to go through the waiver board.
“We are urging the schools to inform their Soldiers and their families about the criteria to enter the installation and submit their requests in advance, so if they are denied access, they have time to go through the waiver process,” he said.
Visit www.lee.army.mil, click on the About US section and select Installation Access to learn more about submitting a request for unescorted access electronically.
Currently, the VCC sees between 225-300 individuals on a walk-in basis daily, and Tull said he wants people to realize the process won’t be a 2-3 minute quick trip to gain access. There are four stations and once they get to that point, it’s pretty quick, but the center can be busy at times, as they also have to process electronic requests.
Here is a snapshot of the denials due to felony convictions, in no specific order, from July 1 – Aug. 25:
- Murder – 5
- Sex Offender – 19
- Drug Possession with intent to sell – 77
- Fraud – 14
- Aggravated Assault – 15
- Drug Possession – 42
- Larceny – 14
- Rape – 5
- Burglary – 7
- Grand Theft – 2
- DWI – 5