Monday , 18 June 2018
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The US Department of Homeland Security announced US$202.27m in new funding for port security on May 10, 2007, in its seventh round of grants since 2002. The federal funds are intended to strengthen the ability of US ports to prevent and respond to terrorist attack, major disasters and other emergencies.

New funding for US port security

The Port of Los Angeles will receive US$6.56m, and was the fifth largest recipient behind Tacoma, the Lower Mississippi, New Jersey and Chicago. The USA’s busiest container port will use the money to enhance its waterside surveillance systems, integrate its command and control centre systems and introduce new communications system infrastructure. Los Angeles has received a total of US$37.76m in the seven rounds of grant funding to date.

The Port of Long Beach received US$4.6m for two major projects to improve undersea surveillance and to integrate its security systems. This was part of a total of US$15m awarded to agencies and businesses in the Long Beach/Los Angeles port complex; the funds will be used to develop a coordinated strategy, with complementary projects at neighbouring ports.

New underwater sonar equipment, additional cameras and enhanced radar will better enable Long Beach to monitor the movement of vessels through its waterways. An integrated communications system for a new joint command and control centre, currently under construction, will dramatically enhance communication and coordination on a regional basis. This initiative will tie together security and camera systems from more than 31 entities, including the Port, tenants and law enforcement agencies.

The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) received more than US$3m to enhance security at its three state-owned marine terminals. The funding will be used to upgrade surveillance systems and to implement the new Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) standards, which come into force in 2009.

“Our terminals are safe because of the people and systems we have in place,” said Jerry A. Bridges, the VPA’s executive director. “Port security, however, is an ongoing concern and this money will be used to continue our efforts at keeping this port safe and ensuring the flow of cargo.”