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New photo ID scanning to begin at Carroll County Government office building Friday

Starting Friday, visitors to Carroll County Government’s office building will have their photo identification scanned and a unique, temporary badge printed for them, according to a county news release.

The Board of Commissioners in October approved this new security measure to enhance the visitor management system. Through this system, visitors who enter the main office building at 225 N. Center St. in Westminster must present photo identification and tell the employee at the information desk where they plan to go in the building. Requiring photo ID is not new, but what is different is the scanning of the ID and the badges visitors will wear.

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After the ID is scanned, a badge will be printed bearing the date, time, visitor’s name and destination, the release states. Visitors will wear the badge while in the building and return the badge to the information desk or place it in a designated drop box before leaving. The information on the ID will be retained on the county’s server for 30 days.

If a visitor does not have a valid photo ID, the county official they were meant to visit will come to them in the lobby and escort them to their meeting, Commissioner Ed Rothstein, R-District 5, said at the Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday.

The commissioners approved the new system after, in August, authorizing the Department of Public Works to expend $5,000 for the project. A security team consisting of several county departments, including Information Technology, Public Safety, Risk Management, Public Works and the Sheriff’s Office, was formed months ago to assess the security of the county office building. As part of this, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security walked through the facility and offered suggestions for improvement, after which the commissioners approved a new visitor system and replaced building security officers with sheriff’s deputies.

Jason Green, deputy director of Public Works, said in August the security team was formed due to “recent news events” across the country, but that there were no incidents at the county office building that prompted the team’s formation.

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