From The Blog

Balancing Security and Convenience

As most of you know, 2019 has been a year devoted to a number of technology enhancements in our Security Department. We’re in the implementation phase of our most visible change, KICA’s new gate access system. Employees are getting familiar with the system in the early weeks of June.

As I’ve mentioned in many of our information sessions and articles (including Jan. 2018 – kica.us/security-core-services), one of KICA Security director Tony Elder’s missions on the island is to use technology to make things better for our members. If you attended or viewed the livestream (kica.us/java_security) for the recent Java With Jimmy, I talked about some of these many improvements: increasing the use of security cameras, looping in regimes so the Main Gate can have eyes on more of the island and an updated communication system that allows KICA staff, law
enforcement and resort security to get information out in real time to deal with issues. All these changes make the island safer.

The new gate access system was developed by Applications by Design (ABDi), and is the same system used on Seabrook. With the system, which has a website and an app, you can request guest passes right from your phone which will be emailed to your guest. You can even sign up to receive notifications when your guest arrive on the island. You’ll receive a letter with detailed information on how to log in and get started once the system is available. This system will increase convenience for members by adding options but you’ll still be able to request a guest pass by calling or emailing.

A second piece of the upgrades involves moving people who don’t have guest passes out of the traffic flow at the Main Gate. Visitors, which is just our term for people who don’t have a guest pass waiting for them, represented about 2% of total traffic through the Main Gate last year. Visitors will be sent to the pass office at Beachwalker Center where they will provide their driver’s license, registration and insurance. This change will give us the ability to more easily identify and deal with those who abuse the system, and if necessary deny future access.

Later in 2019 and into 2020, other enhancements will be phased in, including the tracking of license plates to get data on contractor and employee movements on the island, moving from barcodes for access to RFIDs and an emergency management tool called Priority 5 that will give emergency teams a real-time look at island conditions in the event of a hurricane or other event.

KICA’s job is to balance between safety and convenience, and it’s sometimes hard to get just right. With a single access point, a popular public resort, significant commercial and consumer service activity, and other factors, dozens of judgment calls are made each day to maintain the appropriate balance between strict access and member lifestyle. KICA understands that there are trade-offs with this approach, and is constantly working on enhancements that strike the right balance between access control and member convenience.

Timing of implementation for these various system upgrades is a moving target, based on the integration of various systems so they work together and don’t create long lines and inconvenience. Not one of these systems alone can accomplish what we all want, which is efficient controlled access to Kiawah. There are many complicating variables – too many and too complex for a single communication to pin down.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. It’s an exciting time, and I know there will be opportunities for us to engage with members as we get closer to going live.