July 28, 2005
California announces $5 million in port security grants
The phrase "cameras, lights, action!" may be familiar to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. But yesterday he was talking cameras, lights, fencing as he announced a $5 million grant to improve port security at 11 of California's ports. It will be used for communications equipment, physical security improvements such as cameras, lighting and fencing, underwater surveillance, personal protective equipment for port first responders and training for port security personnel.
The money will be divided by California's 11 ports as follows:
In addition to the grant money, the state's Office of Homeland Security (OHS) has funded, through the California Maritime Academy, a $400,000 training program to use port workers to assist in port security efforts.
OHS has also established the State Terrorism Threat Assessment Center and four Regional Terrorism Threat Assessment Centers to facilitate information sharing and analysis between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The Coast Guard and the harbor police are part of this effort.
Gov. Schwarzenegger made the $5 million grant announcement at the ceremonial grand opening of San Diego's Coast Guard Joint Operations Center (JOC), one of two centers in the nation to have this type of federal and local cooperation that maximizes port security, communication and collaboration. The JOC, a partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense, the California National Guard, the Port of San Diego and the San Diego Harbor Police, operates around the clock and merges local and federal monitoring and surveillance systems for vessels, swimmers and divers. The center also serves as a dispatch center and command center for all port security activities.