She guards gate at key port facility

AT WORK

Tammie Bowman is responsible for checking in every vehicle that seeks to enter

June 14, 2006|By NANCY JONES-BONBREST | NANCY JONES-BONBREST,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Tammie Bowman

Security guard/captain

Securitas Security Services USA Inc., port of Baltimore

Salary --$27,000

Age --35

Years on the job --Four

How she got started --Bowman's company provides security services to the Maryland Port Administration's six public terminals and headquarters in the World Trade Center.

She began working at the port about 18 months ago, when Securitas was awarded the contract. She is now captain of security for the port's main gate at the Dundalk Marine Terminal, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Typical day --Bowman works 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and is responsible for checking in every vehicle that comes through the gate. She estimates that a typical shift checks as many as 300 cars.

Bowman is one of a four-member team. Part of her job requires her to visually inspect the cars, including random mirror scans and trunk inspections.

Irate visitors --On occasion, someone comes without identification or cannot be cleared to enter. She said most people are cooperative, but on some occasions the police have to be called to escort them out.

"This gate is where everyone comes in. So I feel like I have a lot of people's lives in my hands. To just let someone in unauthorized, would be totally unethical to me."

The good --"I consider myself a people person. That's what makes my job fun."

The bad --Rude people and degrading comments such as being called a "rent-a-cop."

Remembers faces --Bowman said she might not remember every name, but she knows most of the faces that come through the gates on a regular basis. She can remember many of the license tag numbers of the cars that come through.

The weather --The wind is the worst, she says, because it makes it difficult to do paperwork.

Most rewarding time --President Bush came to the port last year and everyone in his detail came through the main gate.

"I was dealing with his top officials. So that was really exciting."

Philosophy on the job --"Treat people the way I would want to be treated."

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