The following report on bullion security was written by the U.S. Mint’s Office of Corporate Communications and shared on the Mint’s Web site.
Each department of the United States Mint supports the overall mission to serve the American people by manufacturing and distributing circulating, precious metal and collectible coins and national medals, and securing assets entrusted to the Mint.
Since 1937, the U.S. Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky, has stored much of the Treasury Department’s gold reserves, secured by U.S. Mint Police officers.
Mint Police at the U.S. Bullion Depository have several key responsibilities:
- Provide security for facility assets and employees by controlling access to the grounds
- Conduct mobile patrols of the area
- Man fixed posts
- Use advanced technology to detect criminal activity
- Transport assigned assets
- Monitor the destruction of error coins
One of those police officers is Mark Campbell, assigned to the Protection Division. The five-year veteran of the force previously served as a police officer for the city of Louisville, Kentucky, for six years.
He said the most unusual project he’s worked on at the Mint was providing security for a coin melt mission during his first two years on the job.
All uncurrent or mutilated coins received by the Mint are melted. The metal is then shipped to a fabricator to be recycled in the manufacture of coinage strips.
Uncurrent coins are whole, but are worn or reduced in weight by natural abrasion. They are easily recognizable as to genuineness, denomination, and which coin sorting and counting machines will accept them. Mutilated coins, on the other hand, are coins that are bent, broken, not whole, or fused or melted together.
Campbell, who said he spends time with family and works on classic Ford Mustangs while off duty, explained why he likes working at the Mint.
“What I enjoy the most is the defined mission of the U.S. Mint. It’s an honor and a privilege, along with a great responsibility, to protect this great nation’s assets,” he said.
The watchful eyes of U.S. Mint Police officers keep the nation’s gold reserves at the U.S. Bullion Depository securely stored, protecting those high-value national resources.