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Hot Springs Village Gate Security


LLOYD SHERMAN, March 4, 2022

A recent article penned by Kirk Goddard Larson discussed the reasons why having a barrier gate system was not functional for our location. (Click here to read Mr. Larson’s article.) From my perspective, I was never thinking about a system that included a barrier. So let me lay out the concept I would be exploring if it were within my purview to do so.

Throughout my active working career, technology was always key to the development of activities I undertook. I won’t bore you with those details, however, properly-used technology can be a huge advantage in making operations more efficient. On the other hand, not properly vetted and implemented, can be a curse and create more issues than it resolves.

CONCEPTToll tag technology is currently in use in about 45 states within the USA. When it first started, it was based on manned toll booths and slowly moved to almost exclusive use of RFID technology to reduce staffing levels and improve throughput.

So, let’s take the “express lane” approach to ingress to HSV. Both the Hwy 7 and Hwy 5 gates already have the perfect setup for this type of approach. This technology combines the use of RFID stickers, cameras, and software to track the collection of tolls.

Short of collecting a toll, this same technology could be utilized at both of our gates. The reader reads the RFID sticker, the camera shoots a picture of the license plate, and the software compares them to ensure they are an authorized user. No stopping anybody in the “express lane” but now you have captured information on the vehicles that may have entered, but shouldn’t have. You can at this point make a determination if this event is going to send an immediate alert to the police dispatcher, or simply flag it, and when and if it happens again an alert is raised. Over time you build up a database of those who continue to violate the rules and you make a determination as to when they are put on some kind of a list for action. You could expand a system of this nature as you learn and start charging fees for those who continue to violate the rules; put out “wanted” posters on serial offenders (sort of kidding), or a myriad of other considerations.

APPROACH – Below are the typical stages when considering an RFID system:

• Define the business problem

• Establish the Business Case (Project Scoping)

• Understand the potential and limitations of RFID technology

• Define the project objectives

• Analysis of the Existing System (Collect information & information analysis)

• Develop a Project Road Map

• System Design (Requirement analysis)

• Hardware/software selection

• Develop a new process

• Proof of Concept (Prototype Testing)

• Debug

• System Adaptation

• Pilot Implementation

• Full Implementation (System deployment & training

• Continuous Improvement (Monitoring & collecting feedback from users)

The key to developing technology changes is ensuring you have the right person driving the bus. If you don’t have someone on staff with the capability to perform the analysis (and I don’t believe we do), engage someone who does. In this case, someone like Mr. Larson who has been there and done that.

The other key has been mentioned previously in posts regarding the failed attempt to implement this type of system in the past. That is, do we have the capacity to even approach an RFID concept? Will our WiFi infrastructure allow for the implementation and maintenance of an RFID application?

I don’t have the answers to these questions, but if I were to explore this type of opportunity, I would certainly know the answer to those basic questions before I headed down that road.

Interested in learning more about this type of technology? Start here: RFIDjournal.com


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