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department of Public Safety

Access Control Guidelines

Date of Issue: March 15, 2012

Purpose

TAMUCT University’s Controlled Access Guidelines are established for the purpose of promoting a secure campus environment and for maintaining a comprehensive system to efficiently manage the dissemination of keys throughout the campus. Individuals may be authorized to receive keys to conduct their work while limiting access where appropriate so as not to compromise security.

It is necessary to maintain key control to uphold the integrity of office and building security. This guideline describes the procedures by which control, dissemination, use, and possession of keys to university facilities will be managed. The University Police Department will gladly assist campus departments with key control and facility access procedures.

General Procedures

  1. The TAMUCT University Police Department is responsible for maintaining the university’s key control system and for authorizing the dissemination of keys. University keys are TAMUCT property and may be recovered at any time. Unauthorized fabrication, duplication, possession, or use of keys to facilities of TAMUCT University is a violation of this guideline and employees found in violation of the guideline may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment. Non-employees, contractors, etc. found in possession of unauthorized university keys will have their keys confiscated and the individual or individuals will be removed from campus.
  2. Those seeking a key to a university building or office must fill out a “Key Request Form,”. After a key request form is received and approved, the University Police will issue the key or authorize a key to be cut. Design of the university’s keying system is the responsibility of the Facilities Management Department. The design will ensure security while at the same time reasonable convenience to personnel occupying campus facilities. University Police will fabricate all keys. Facilities Management will perform all lock changes for university facilities, except for work performed by on-site contractors under the direction of Facilities Management. Records of keys to university facilities, including the names of individuals to whom keys are issued, dates of issue/return/loss will be maintained by University Police. University keys will not be duplicated without a request on file with the Department.
  3. Key requests will be reviewed by the University Police Department and generally will be available within three (3) working days. All key requests to high security areas (e.g. alarmed areas) or where access is otherwise restricted will be reviewed by the University Police Department to ensure the appropriate authorization is received and adequate security measures are maintained. NOTE: Access to alarmed areas is strictly limited and is not authorized under any circumstances without the approval of the person who controls that area.
  4. It is the responsibility of each department to adequately maintain control over the distribution of department keys. Department heads are expected to comply with the key control guidelines and to insure that keys are retrieved from personnel who leave the employ of TAMUCT University and return those keys to University Police.
  5. All persons issued TAMUCT University keys shall at all times be held responsible and accountable for their keys and shall not transfer or loan their keys to another individual. Individuals must personally sign for their keys.
  6. Appropriate administrators may request and delegate the issuance of keys only as necessary and in accordance with the Key Eligibility Criteria and Key Issuance Procedures below.

Key Eligibility Criteria

Master Keys

As a general rule, distribution of grand master and building master keys should be highly restricted. Master keys will only be distributed upon the approval of the Vice President responsible for that area.

All requests for master keys will be reviewed by the University Police Department to insure proper security protocols are followed. At no time will a master key be issued whenever the issuance of such a key is determined to compromise the safety and security of the community.

Type of Key Authorization Required

  1. Grand Master: University President or his/her designee
    (Access to all university buildings)
  2. Building Master: Vice President responsible for that area
    (Access to all locks within building)
  3. Sub-Master: Director/Department Head
    (Access to a group of locks within building)
  4. Individual door lock: Department Head

Key Request Procedures

Employees
  1. Keys may be requested for full-time and part-time employees of the University for the duration of employment. Complete Key Request Form.
  2. Obtain appropriate approving signature, in accordance with the Key Eligibility Criteria.
  3. Submit completed form to the Access Control Manager, University Police Department.
  4. University Police will review the key request form where all information is verified and, if necessary, keys will be cut if not currently available.
  5. When keys are available the University Police Department will notify the employee.
  6. The employee will be required to sign a receipt for authorized keys in person.
  7. All keys must be returned to University Police at termination of employment (faculty and staff).
  8. Periodic department audits of issued keys may be requested to ensure guideline compliance.
  9. Requests for duplicates of keys that cannot be accounted for will not be authorized until a report is filed with University Police.
Students

Generally, students should not be issued keys to university buildings or offices. However, in some case where a student works for a department and access is required, an authorized department head may request a key be issued.

  1. Department head must complete the “Key Request Form.”
  2. Keys may be requested for no longer than one semester at a time.
  3. Obtain appropriate approving signature, in accordance with the Key Control Guidelines.
  4. Submit completed form to the Access Control Manager, University Police Department.
  5. Receive and sign for authorized keys in person.
  6. All keys must be turned in at the end of the student’s term of employment.
  7. Requests for duplicate keys of outstanding (unaccounted for) keys will not be issued.
  8. Keys that cannot be accounted for may result in administrative hold on students’ records, course registration and other accounts until the matter is resolved.
Contractors

Keys required by contractors or other non-university users to access areas on campus to conduct their work must be authorized by Facilities Management. Key rings will be stored at University Police headquarters for contractors hired by the university to perform work on campus.

The Facilities Management Department will provide University Police with a list of the names of contractors authorized to receive designated key rings. Contractors authorized to receive keys must show photo identification to sign out and return keys at the University Police station. Information as to who is issued keys, when they are signed out and returned will be recorded by University Police.

University keys issued to contractors must be returned at the end of each business day. At no time will a contractor be allowed to keep a key ring overnight. All costs of key recovery or re-keying related to unreturned keys will be the responsibility of the contractor and/or his or her company to which the keys were issued and final payment for services provided will not be made until all issued keys are returned.

Lost or Stolen Keys
  1. Lost or stolen keys should be reported immediately to the University Police (254) 501-5800. NOTE: An incident report will be generated documenting the circumstances of the loss. Replacement keys will not be issued unless an incident report is completed.
  2. Replacement keys must be ordered using the “Key Request Form.” Signature of appropriate authorizing party must be obtained prior to submitting the form to University Police.
  3. Submit the “Key Request Form” to the Access Control Manager, University Police Department.
Charges
Lost key charges
KeyCharge
Grand Master Key$200
Building Master Key$150
Sub master Key$100
Single Lock / Building Entrance Key$ 50
Electronic Key Card$20

NOTE: Lost Key charges will be refunded if keys are found and turned in to University Police within 30 days of loss.

If the lock-core must be changed for security reasons, actual costs of re-keying will be determined by the Facilities Management Department and the cost may be charged to the department originally authorizing the keys and/or the individual to whom the keys were issued.

A request to have the lock-core changed can be initiated by a Vice President or Department Head after consultation with Facilities Management and the University Police Chief.

Key and Building Security

  1. The individual to whom keys are issued is personally responsible for the use of said keys until returned to the University Police.
  2. Key holders shall not prop or otherwise hold doors or windows open or leave them unlocked during hours when the facility is normally closed.
  3. If for some reason you cannot lock a door with your key, contact University Police.
  4. Key holders shall not unlock buildings or rooms for others unless the individual has a valid, verifiable reason and proper identification for access, or is known by the employee to have legitimate need for access to the room or building. Report suspicious persons to University Police immediately.

Unlock Requests

In the event that access to an otherwise secured area is required, the following procedures should be followed:

General Classrooms

Security Officers are responsible for unlocking general classrooms.

High Security Classrooms

Access to high security classrooms/offices is managed by card access (Bernie Beck Lecture Hall, Business Office, Check Printer Room, etc.). Only those authorized by the person who controls the classroom/office may be allowed admittance. It is strongly recommended that access authorization be obtained well in advance of the scheduled use of the area.

NOTE: University Police will not allow persons not previously authorized into a high security classroom/office without the permission of the person in charge of the classroom.

Offices

Individuals locked out of their own offices should contact the University Police (254) 501-5800 for assistance. An officer will be sent to verify identification and unlock the area in question.

NOTE: University Police will only unlock offices for individuals assigned to that office. Requests by individuals for access into an office not their own will not be honored without the approval of the person who occupies that office. Exceptions may be made based on extenuating circumstances, at the discretion of the President, Vice Presidents, or the University Police supervisor, and upon proper identification of the party requesting access and documentation as to the reason why access is needed.

Other Areas

Generally speaking, access into locked areas on campus must be authorized by the person in control of the area in question.

Emergency Access

In case of emergencies (e.g. urgent maintenance, fire, etc.), the University Police Department and Facilities Management may need to enter a secured campus facility. Once the emergency is addressed, every reasonable effort will be made to contact the individual responsible for the area entered so as to advise him/her of the need to access their facility.

University Police will email each department head or his/her designee once a year to request updated information relative to emergency contact information should University Police need to contact someone in a specific department. Department heads are strongly encouraged to provide the University Police Department with emergency notification information and to regularly update the information on file in the event contact needs to be made during emergencies. Notification will be made to the department head or other person whose name is on file as an emergency contact for the department when emergency access to an area is required.

Access Cards

Most campus buildings and facilities are accessible to members of the campus community, guests and visitors during normal hours of business and during designated hours on weekends and holidays, depending on the variety of events and activities taking place on campus. Once buildings are secured, persons requiring access to academic or administrative buildings on campus must contact the University Police Department at (254) 501-5800 to obtain access. An employee’s department head may request off-hours card access into buildings if it is necessary for the employee’s work responsibilities.

A request for off-hours card access or 24 hour access must be made in writing to the Chief of Police, University Police Department stating the reason for the request.

Under no circumstance will card access be granted whenever that access is determined to compromise the safety and security of the community and/or the university’s facilities.

Access Card Request

All Access Card requests require the approval of the Chief of Police. Access Cards may be requested for full-time and part-time employees of the University for the duration of employment. Complete the Access Card Request Form and submit to the Chief of Police. The request form must contain information that answers the following questions: who (name the individual who should be given access); where (department/room location); and when (time period access is desired). The Chief of Police will forward all approved request to the Access Control Manager for activation.

  1. When Access Cards are available the Access Control Manager, University Police Department will notify the employee.
  2. The employee will be required to sign a receipt for authorized Access Cards in person.

Card Access Control Guidelines

  1. Exterior doors are controlled by electronic access cards.
  2. To request an access card for an individual, Access Card Request Forms must be filled in completely listing the doors to which the cardholder is authorized to access and days and times the card will be active.
  3. An access card will be issued only with proper authorization from the employee’s department head or Director.
  4. The cardholder must immediately report to the University Police Department the loss or theft of an access card.
  5. The department head must immediately notify the Access Control Manager in the University Police Department upon separation, termination, or retirement of a cardholder and must immediately retrieve the card from the cardholder, if possible.
  6. If a door is forced open or held open too long, an alarm is initiated.
  7. Modifying, removing or attempting to defeat or disable any access control systems are not permitted except in cases of system failure, maintenance or repair.

The following are responsibilities for all card holders:

  • Never loan cards from one person to another
  • Never prop open doors
  • Never admit unauthorized person(s) into buildings
  • Never should you be in possession of an unauthorized Access Card
  • You must return an Access Card when requested by Campus Police
  • You must show an ID when requested by TAMUCT personnel acting in official capacity for the institution.
  • You must only enter areas that you are authorized.

Summary

The goal of this guideline is to encourage all members of the university community to take responsibility for ensuring building security by complying with the key control measures outlined in this guideline. Cooperation and compliance with this guideline is necessary.

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