By Jasmyne Ferber, Fort Meade Public Affairs
Beginning July 29, two of the three access control points on Fort George G. Meade will have reduced operating hours due to a reduction in manpower.
The Mapes/32 ACP will be open Monday to Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays – including training holidays. The Rockenbach Road/175 ACP will be open Monday to Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Mapes/175 ACP will remain open 24/7.
“We are authorized a certain number of security guards, and unfortunately over the last six months, we have lost quite a few of our security guards for a multitude of factors,” Dave Mazi, deputy director of emergency services on Fort Meade, said on the decision to reduce operating hours. “Our strength numbers have gone to the point where we simply do not have enough to keep the gates open.”
The Fort Meade community can expect to see an impact on traffic along MD‐175 and a potential delay entering the installation. Mazi said the implementation of the new AIE‐3 System, which expedites access for authorized personnel by verifying the identification document presented at the gate, has sped up their ability to get personnel, residents and visitors on to the installation.
“The intent is to keep all of the lanes open, but if we have callouts or officers who are sick and so forth, we will have to adjust based on the available manpower,” he said.
On average, over 13,000 personnel travel through the Mapes/175 gate between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., which is over twice the amount that travel through the Rockenbach gate during the same time. Mazi stated this statistic, in addition to the gate’s central location for tenant locations to conduct business and access to the installation’s PX and Commissary, was a significant factor in selecting the Mapes/175 gate for 24‐hour access.
According to Mazi, the security of the installation will not be compromised due to the reduction in manpower.
“Reducing the number of gates means providing adequate security at the gates that remain open,” he said. “We still have all of our police assets; we still have all of our fire assets, so the overall security remains the same. The impact to emergency services is minimal. You will still get fire and law enforcement responding within their allocated time frames.”
The change will be in effect until further notice, however Fort Meade Garrison Commander COL Michael Sapp and CSM Andre Welch are actively working with the installation's partner commands to find a reliable number of service members to augment the guard force. If a reliable number of service members are obtained, it is the garrison command's intention to increase gate access and hours.
Another means of increasing the guard force is through the Department of the Army Security Guard Hiring Fair taking place August 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pershing Hall, located at 4550 Parade Field Lane, Mazi stated.
“We are hopeful in bridging the gap in regard to our shortages between current hiring actions that are occurring and those which are based off of this hiring fair,” Mazi said. “It is our intent that this is a temporary measure and additional hirings of security guards or the assistance of borrowed military manpower from our tenant organizations will alleviate the immediate concern.”
The hiring fair is open to the public. Those interested in attending should come to the event with a resume, a DD 214 (if applicable), and two forms of government‐issued identification. All applicants are required to apply through USAJobs prior to, or on the day of the event here: https://www.usajobs.gov/job/738466400. If you are a veteran applying under a Merit Promotion, you can apply here: https://www.usajobs.gov/job/739101700.
Walk‐ins are welcome, but pre‐registration is highly encouraged as the event is first come, first serve. To pre‐register, contact the Fort Meade Directorate of Human Resources at email@example.com.