Willie D. Gibbons of Stalwart Security conducted the assessment of the Southbound Ironic Industrial Park, Corpus Christi, Texas. The city of Corpus Christi is a strong multi-cultural community with a large Hispanic population (55%) of mostly Mexican descent. Unemployment is currently below the national average at 5. 6% and the growth potential within the city continues to outpace those of surrounding areas. This is in part to Corpus Christi having the largest Foreign Trade Zone within the United States and the proposed expansion of Free Trade Agreements with other Latin countries.
Corpus Christi has a low cost of living with the median home in the low sass. The average income is $34,000. 00 and the average age is 34. 1. This is below the national average in all areas (Corpus Christi Official Website, 2010). The city has a strong infrastructure with Interstate Highway 37 running North West to San Antonio and Interstate Highway 10 and 35. There are also several state highways that intersect the city and three rail lines, providing multiple lines of transportation. Corpus Christi serves as the regional healthcare center for the South West Texas region.
They have multiple hospitals in the area with he Crusts SPOON Hospital-shoreline being the closest located at 600 Elizabeth Street. They are a level Ill trauma center. Corpus Christi has sixteen fire stations. In addition, the Port Authority has a fire response unit designated to the Port Authority. The closest ground fire station is fire station one located at 514 Balder. This station has ambulance and ladder truck capabilities. The next two closest stations are fire station three and five respectively. In addition, the fire department offers training classes on fire safety and CPRM.
Utilities are provided by the Corpus Christi Water Department and the Corpus Christi Gas department. Electricity is provided through Reliant energy. This provides a response time of approximately fifteen minutes from the call with no other factors such as a simultaneous incident from another location occupying local support. Travel time to the nearest hospital is approximately twenty minutes in traffic, fifteen in an emergency vehicle. Extreme weather conditions are a strong possibility for the Corpus Christi region. Hurricane season is from June through November.
In addition to the high winds, flooding is highly likely with some areas reaching four to six feet. Tornados are experienced throughout the year with he strongest period being from March to September. Counter measures are naturally built into the structure. The location of the warehouse on the canal mitigates the chance of flooding by providing a water flow into the bay and reducing standing water. The elevation of the buildings further reduces the likelihood that water would collect inside the buildings. The crime rate for Corpus Christi is slightly higher on average than the national average.
Corpus Christi police records (Corpus Christi Official Web Site, 201 0) show that in 2005 the local area surrounding the business (district D 10) had 21 robberies, 7 cases of aggravated assaults, 69 burglaries, 370 larcenies, and 42 vehicle thefts. Response time varies with the call. Reported crime after the fact or noise complaints often results in a response time of approximately forty five minutes. Visualized crimes in progress result in an average response time of five to fifteen minutes, depending on current location of patrol cars available.
An assessment of the area immediately surrounding the warehouse complex indicates that it is separate from houses and other areas of known domestic violence. It is not within a gang related area or known drug related area. Based on the above information, the three greatest threats from outside criminal activity are larceny, burglary and robbery. Physical Security The Southbound warehouse facility located at 537 Pier Road is rectangular in shape and approximately 17 acres in size. Overall dimensions are approximately 900 feet x 500 feet. Topography is relatively flat with no significant vegetation within the area surrounding the facility.
There is a large industrial complex to the south and an undeveloped lot to the north. To the east across Pier Road there is an industrial building with undeveloped property surrounding it. To the west, the property is adjacent to Canal A. Canal A is approximately 300-600 feet across and 20-60 foot deep, depending on the section and recent dredging. The outer perimeter of the property, excluding the employee parking lot, is fenced on three sides by an eight foot, eleven gauge cyclone fence with 2″ x 2″ squares and triple strand barbed wire on the top and angled out.
The fence post spaced approximately eight feet apart. The fence has an eleven gauge strand that runs along the bottom. However, the fencing is not secured to the ground in any fashion between the upright posts. This creates an opportunity for an individual to slide under the fence at any given point. The east side of the property faces canal A and is open. There are two access points into the fenced area. The first is an eight foot double access gate located midway along the west fence. This gate serves as an entry/exit point for employees.
The second gate is a mechanically operated 20 foot sliding gate at the northern edge of the west fence. This serves as an access point for trucks delivering or picking up goods. These gates are open between the hours of mamma and 6:pm Monday thru Friday. Between the hours of 6:pm and mamma Monday thru Friday and weekends, the employee gate is locked with a chain and 1 1 3722 Best Access padlock. Security is proprietary with a single security guard. Parking for employees consists of a double row of parking spaces on the west side of the property outside the fenced perimeter with a maximum capacity of 100 vehicles.
There are twenty parking spaces within the fenced area for the owner, general manager, department supervisors, four handicap spaces and four visitor spaces. These are located along the west fence immediately to the south of the main entrance gate. Lighting for the employee parking external to the fenced in area is limited to the eighteen exterior lights from the back of the warehouse. Coverage is extremely limited with the fence and employee gate being visible from no more than 35 feet during hours of darkness. The same lighting provides adequate lighting for employees parking inside the fenced area.
The guard gate house has an additional light on a forty foot pole that provides coverage for the north access entrance. A double sign at the northern most entrance to the facility identifies the company, address and notifies visitors to report to the entrance gate for access to the facility. The employee entrance has a single sign stating, “Employee entrance only’. Traffic Patterns Traffic surrounding the facility is currently limited to vehicular traffic to the facility and the few businesses surrounding the facility due to limited development.
There are three access points to the employee parking lot. Employees enter through the employee gate and generally enter the warehouse through the door in building#2. There they have a locker area, break area and restrooms. Visitors and supervisory personnel enter through the northern most access point into the fenced area. Parking is immediately o the left along the fence. They generally enter through warehouse #1 . Visitors are met at the gate by the guard and instructed where to park and where to enter to the office.
Vehicular traffic into the facility comprises of 5-8 tractor-trailers per day that are dropping off or picking up cargo. Those dropping off cargo will park at warehouse #1 and #2(primary #1 and secondary #2). Those picking up cargo will park at warehouse #4 and #5 (primary #5 and secondary #4). Warehouse #3 is not used for picking up or dropping off cargo. Once a week on Thursday, generally between the hours of 10:mama and 2:pm, trash is picked up. There are snack and soft drink machines in the break room that are filled once a week on Tuesday and Thursday respectively.
Times vary as does the delivery day on occasion. In these instances, the company is notified prior to a change in delivery day. At approximately 1 1 :mama Monday thru Friday, a food coach arrives and parks next to warehouse #3 where employees may purchase food goods. The vehicle leaves at approximately 12:pm. Structure Exterior The facility consists of five warehouses approximately four feet apart connected to each other with access passages approximately forty feet in length. There is one guard house on the northern end of the facility.
There are two permanent cranes used for the loading and off loading of barges on the east side near the canal. Construction of the warehouses is cinderblock construction with metal roofs that overhang the platforms on the front and back. Each warehouse has two steel 30′ wide x 12′ high electrically operated roller overhead doors (Overhead Door, 2010) and one 3′ wide steel door with solid core (catalog, 201 0) on the east side facing the canal. With the exception of warehouse #1, all have a single 3′ steel door (catalog, 2010) with solid core on the west side.
Warehouse #1 has an additional 3′ steel door with solid core (catalog, 2010) that enters into the office. The overhead doors are Overhead 625 series (Overhead Door, 2010) and can only be opened, either electrically or mechanically from the inside. The other doors each have AH series Best Access system heavy duty mortise locks with single lock mechanisms (Catalog S. 2. , 2010). There are two 2′ wide x 3′ high non-opening double pane windows with steel frames (Oliver Windows and Doors , 201 0) on the north side of warehouse #1 that enter into the general managers office. These are rated at Cat II hurricane strength.
Additional metal covers (Fetch and Company, 2010) are available on site for hurricanes expected over Cat II. Due to the elevation of the building, the windows are six feet off of the ground. There are no ledges on the windows. There are no designated emergency exits. All doors are clearly marked exit and are clear for foot traffic. Additionally, all of the 3′ doors can be exited even if locked due to the door lock design. Exterior building lighting consist of 400 watt Borosilicate Glass Lens Wall Pack lights wall (Easy Rack, 2010) mounted on the warehouses at 20′ above ground and spaced every 30′.
This provides good illumination that provides coverage that extends beyond the fenced area to the west approximately 20′. Additional lighting on the north and south fences consist of 480 volt ballast type lighting on 30′ foot poles rated at Cat II winds. These provide moderate coverage to the working area along the canal dock. Each of the cranes has additional lighting incorporated into their construction consisting of three 400 watt HID light fixtures when being operated. Structure Interior Warehouse #1 contains the offices for the business as well as a receiving warehouse.
Office construction consists of a two floor wood construction tit exterior walls to the warehouse covered with 3/4″ plywood and interior walls made of shoetrees. The first floor contains a reception area, general manager’s office, secretarial office and male/female restroom. An additional male and female restroom opens into the warehouse as well as a cleaning supply closet. The second floor contains one office for department supervisors, a records storage room/computer main frame room and a male/ female restroom. Doors are wood with reinforced foam cores and wood frames.
Locks to the offices and to the storeroom/computer main frame are KC series Best Access single keyed locks (Catalog S. . , 2010). Sensitive files are kept in the storeroom in a secure cabinet with an L series Best Access cabinet lock (Catalog S. 2. , 2010). Key control is maintained by the general manager’s assistant and access is limited to the general manager, his assistant and the accountant and department supervisors on an as needed basis. A through-the-wall temperature management system keeps the offices and storage room at a set 72 degrees. Lighting within the offices and rooms are luminescent fixtures.
Warehouse #2, #4 and #5 contain a male and female restroom as well as storage closet for cleaning supplies. These are wood construction with wood doors. Locks to the restrooms are K series Best Access single keyed locks (Catalog S. 2. , 2010). Key control IS maintained by the general managers assistant. Warehouse #3 acts as the main entrance to the facility from the parking lot for employees. This warehouse contains the employee break room, employee locker room, male and female restrooms that open into the warehouse and storage closet for supplies.
Construction consists of a single floor wood construction with exterior walls to the warehouse covered with 3/4″ plywood and interior walls made of shoetrees. Doors are wood with reinforced foam cores and wood frames. Locks to the break room, locker room and restrooms are KC series Best Access single keyed locks (Catalog S. 2. , 2010). However, the locker room and break room are rarely locked. Lockers are secured with employee combination locks. Observation indicates that only 20% of employees actually use locks on their lockers. The balance of employees relies on the honor system for security.
Key control for the door keys are maintained by the general manager’s assistant. A through the wall temperature management system keeps the interior at a set 72 degrees. The warehouse area for all five warehouses consist Of similar 16″, 250 watt acrylic bay lighting (Exit sign Warehouse, 2010) spaced every 20′. This provides for adequate lighting requirements with minimal shadow areas within the workspace secondary to shelving. Temperature control consists of overhead heating and cooling that is used primarily when temperatures reach extremes due to the bay doors being open most of the time.
Guardhouse The guard house is cinderblock construction and approximately 12′ x 16′. The south facing side has a single 3′ steel door (catalog, 2010) with solid core with tell frame. The door has a AH series Best Access system heavy duty mortise lock with single lock mechanism (Catalog S. 2. , 2010). The south facing side also has a 2 h’ x 2 h’ window (Oliver Windows and Doors , 201 0) that is double pane that slides open side to side. There is an additional window on the west side that is 3 h’ wide x 2 h’ high double pane, non-opening (Oliver Windows and Doors , 2010).
These windows are rated Cat I and Cat II respectively. Metal covers (Fetch and Company, 201 0) are available on site if expected winds are greater than window ratings. The interior of the roadhouse contains single room office, a restroom and storage closet that contains emergency equipment. Interior construction consists of cinderblock walls. Doors are metal with foam core and metal frames. Doors are secured with KC series Best Access single keyed locks (Catalog S. 2. , 2010). A through the wall temperature management system keeps the building at a set 72 degrees.
Access Control At the gates, access control is very limited in nature. It is assumed that anyone there is supposed to be there. Employees enter through the employee gate unchecked. Visitors come to the main gate and are directed here to park and to see the receptionist in the office. Trucks delivering or picking up cargo are checked prior to access, primarily to verify which loading dock they are to go to. Vehicles that are regularly scheduled such as the snack vendors or the trash removal are waived through without stopping. Employees however are very aware of who belongs there and who does not.
All warehouse and dock employees wear standardized uniforms as well as a company identification badge on their sleeve. Office workers wear the identification badge on a neck chain or on their pocket. Policies dictate that only warehouse employees and those on official business may be within the warehouse and that only dock workers and those on official business may be within the dock area. Throughout my assessment numerous employees asked of my purpose of being there and verified with the office that my business there was official. This was especially evident when I approached the dock and crane area. As required to have an escort during the entire process for safety purposes. Drivers are expected to stay in or near their truck. The exception to this general rule occurs when they are conducting business in warehouse #1 for loading or unloading manifest. Restricted areas within the facility are limited due to the nature of the operation. With the exception of the office in warehouse #1, all areas are open to the employees working in those areas. Access to the records storage room is limited to the general manager, his assistant and the accountant and department supervisors on an as needed basis.
Key control is maintained by the general managers assistant with the general manager having alternate key control. Computer access is limited to those assigned a computer and is password protected for each station. Within the computer system, access is irritation to those areas that apply to the individual user. Only the owner and general manager have access to view all files. For safety reasons, cell phones are not allowed in the warehouse, excluding the office in warehouse #1. They may be left in the employee’s car or in their locker.
Alarm and Surveillance Systems Alarm coverage is provided on all of the exterior doors of the warehouses (excluding the overhead doors) and the records storage room/computer main frame room utilizing a low power system with battery back-up. The monitoring service is provided by Advantage Protection Systems (Advantage Protection Systems, 2010). Upon activation of the alarm, the alarm senile provider calls the security guard to verify a break in security. If no contact is made, the monitoring service will call the police to report the situation.
Protocol for this company is that upon notification, the security guard will conduct a perimeter search and verify a breach or lack of breach in security. If there is a breach, he will immediately call the police. If there is no breach, he will call the monitoring service. If after five minutes, the security guard has failed to contact the monitoring service, the monitoring service will call the security guard to verify through code word. If no contact is made, the monitoring service will notify the police. The alarm system and procedures are currently tested annually.
Security personnel utilize Closed Circuit Television (CATV) to monitor the facility. There are two cameras placed on the exterior of the east side 1 5 feet above the loading dock that provide coverage of the cranes and surrounding dock area. There is one camera that is on the west side of the building 15 feet above the platform that provides coverage of the employee entrance and one camera on the north light fixture 20 feet above ground that angles towards the main entrance gate. All cameras are Sandy VOCATIVE day/night cameras (Imprisoned, 2010). The monitoring station is in the guardhouse.
There they are viewed on a Tatting OUTCOME color monitor (KEN Products, 201 0) through an Overuses DVD model SCORED 250/ 4 channel with built in DVD burner (USA Security Systems, 2010). The DVD is located in the storage room of warehouse #1. The CATV is 1 1 Ova AC and has no back-up battery system. Although the system is a day/night system, it does not provide an adequate picture during hours of darkness. Additionally, picture quality is poor at distances beyond 30′. A digital copy of the information from the CATV cameras is kept on a hard drive located in the guard house and maintained for six months.
Fire Protection Fire protection is in accordance with local and state guidelines. The fire protection system is an overhead sprinkler system with automatic and manual activation. Automatic sensors are thermal type. Manual control panels are placed at all exits and openings between the buildings. The doors that separate the warehouses and act as fire doors are sliding steel doors that are operated manually. Coverage of the fire protection system provides 100% coverage if there were no shelving structures. The shelving structures decrease the coverage in the warehouses by approximately 10%.
The office area, break room, rest rooms and employee locker area has 100% coverage. The fire protection system is tested every six months by the Corpus Christi fire department along with the fire extinguishers. There are fire extinguishers at every exit and placed along the walls approximately every one hundred feet. These are ten pound, dry chemical type fire extinguishers. These are inspected bi-annually when the fire system is inspected. Flammable materials are stored in a 2′ x 4′ x 6′ fire cabinet located in warehouse two near the overhead door. The products consist of oils, lubricants and paints.
Fuel for the forklifts and Other site equipment is maintained in a trailer that is filled weekly or as needed and parked on the south side of the warehouse property. A spill kit is located adjacent to the trailer in a weather proof box. The trailer is secured to the ground by chain and the box is bolted to the ground. The fire evacuation plan appears straight forward. When either the fire alarm is manually activated or automatically activated, all personnel are to exit the buildings and move to the main entrance gate where supervisors induct accountability and report accountability to the site manager.
Security personnel notify the fire department of the situation and await the fire department to clear the buildings. A map of the fire evacuation plan is located in the entrance to all offices, the break room and just above all of the fire extinguishers throughout the warehouses. All exits are considered fire exits, marked as such and kept unlocked during business hours. After hours, all three foot doors can be opened from the inside when in the locked position. All employees sign a copy of the fire safety policy indicating they understand the procedures.
Additionally, as part of the employee training program, all employees attend fire safety training once a year. Personnel Security Personnel background investigations are limited. Prospective employees submit an employment application and resume if available. Following the initial interview, HRS contacts prior employers to verify employment and identify any potential issues. Following this investigation, those identified for hiring are given a second interview. During this interview, a description of the job, the physical requirements and clothing requirements are given to the respective employee.
Upon hiring, the employee attends any required training to include, safety, employee relations and conduct, harassment, special skills and orientation training. The employee reads the policy book and signs a memorandum stating he has read and understands the policies. A copy fifths is kept in his personnel file in the records room. Some of the policies include sexual harassment, verbal/physical harassment, workplace violence, drug testing and use, tardiness and missed work (excused and unexcused). Throughout the year, employees attend refresher training and sign attendance rosters to document their updated training.
Southbound LLC is a family oriented business that has been operating for sixteen years and turnover is limited, given the orientation of the business. The average time of employment is seven years with most employees having been employed with this company for over ten years. Employees that terminate employment or are in violation of policies, procedures or otherwise identified for termination are given and out brief that identifies the issue, the policy or reason of termination, attempted steps to reconcile if any and a letter of employment. In cases where the individual simply stopped showing for work, this process is conducted via mail.
All records are kept in the personnel files for five years per company policy. Employee and visitor safeguards are managed through established policies and procedures. Proper clothing is required of all employees working in the warehouse. This includes non-slip work boots with steel toes, denim pants and company shirt. During cold weather months, company issued coats are worn as needed. Hard hats are required when working in or around the cranes. The area is clearly marked with a painted order and signs stating that it is a hard hat area/only authorized personnel.
All warehouse employees are formally trained in the proper use of all work related equipment such as the forklifts. The crane operators are the only personnel allowed in the cranes. The warehouses are marked with signs and painted borders to identify off limits areas, smoking/non-smoking areas, and limited access areas. Visitors are required to report to the office. Once there, the employee that is being visited is called to the office to meet with the visitor. Then, depending on the purpose of the visit, the visitor is escorted to meeting area.
Visitors are generally not allowed in the warehouse area or loading dock area. Information Security Information security is conducted on a limited scale. Policies and procedures are in place to protect information as well as the safety of the employees. Access to various records is limited to those with authorization. Computer access is limited to those with computers and is compartmentalized to prevent unauthorized access to personnel records, client list, shipping and receiving documents, accounting and other business related activities. Internet security is protected via firewall and password access.
A backup of all digital records is kept off site at a secure facility for which the company pays a yearly fee. This system is updated weekly. Cell phones are prohibited in the warehouse structure by employees not in the role of supervisor or above. The purpose of this is to ensure the safety of personnel working with or around equipment. Cell phones may be stored in the employee locker room or left outside the fenced area. There is no formal information training for personnel. Those with access to information are taught the policies and procedures for the handling of information. Investigations
Investigations are performed upon notification of an incident. Records over the last five years indicate an annual average of four accidents, one loss due to theft and one due to loss unspecified. There was one incident of employee violence three years ago that was investigated. The incident was determined to be minor and the individual was retained after completing anger management at his own cost. Company”did training was conducted to reinforce employee relations. The accidents were minor in nature with last year including one pulled backs, one laceration to the hand requiring sutures, ND two non-injury forklift accidents with no loss.
In each case, the company conducted refresher training for all personnel related to the injury or accident. The training included a synopsis of the accident, risk that could be mitigated and procedures that would have negated the incident. A copy Of the investigation was included in the affected employee record. The theft was a vehicle break-in on site and investigated by the Corpus Christi police. No suspects were apprehended. The company purchased a CATV system and had it installed following this incident. Security personnel were also increased o include night time hours. Three years ago, Corpus Christi was hit by a CAT II hurricane.
Damage to the business was superficial overall with water damage to the guard house and CATV system being the single greatest cost. The site was flooded with 1-3 feet of water as it flowed back to the ocean. Further damage would have been present were it not for the preventive policies and procedures in place. Three days prior to the hurricane, all deliveries to and from the business were stopped and the buildings secured. All cranes were lowered and strapped down and all vehicles moved inside the elevated warehouse. The exception was the fuel trailer which was secured to the ground with chains.