Port of Oakland to get $3.5 million in grants to improve security

July 7, 2012 1:58:31 PM PDT
The Port of Oakland will receive $3.5 million in federal grants to improve security, officials announced Friday.

Port officials said the grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security will help them expand their security mapping and geographic information system, a tool that streamlines incident management for first responders and public safety agencies.

According to port officials, the grants will enhance maritime domain awareness by using surveillance cameras and improving technological capabilities while adding to the port's fiber optic network by expanding communications service and providing system redundancy.

The total cost of the three security grants is $4.725 million. The grants will cover $3.5 million of the cost and the Port must pay for the remaining 25 percent, which is $1.2 million.

Pamela Calloway, the president of the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners, said in a statement, "As the fifth busiest containerport in the nation, we are pleased to receive this funding, which will further enhance security at our port."

Calloway said, "The Port of Oakland is a vital link for moving goods to the nation's consumers and in transporting U.S.-made products overseas for export. Improving our seaport security protects our workers, visitors and neighbors as well as the economic vitality of our region, state and nation."

Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin said, "We very much appreciate getting our security projects approved in this competitive climate for federal funding."

Benjamin said, "This funding is essential for supporting critical security initiatives that serve Port workers, our neighboring communities, and our global business partners."

Port facilities security officer Mike O'Brien said the projects will help the port enhance its ability to prepare, prevent, respond and recover from incidents in the maritime area.


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