The Port of Long Beach (POLB) on Aug. 14 announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded the Port a $2.72 million grant aimed at enhancing security to “ensure the safe and efficient movement of cargo in the wake of an emergency.”
As a recipient of the agency’s Port Security Grant Program, POLB will use the funding to “modernize its core security network, strengthen existing security systems and enhance resiliency and business continuity in the event of a disaster,” according to the Port.
DHS’s Port Security Grant Program awards funding to state, local and private-sector agencies for security projects that protect port infrastructure from terrorism, improve maritime security risk management and strengthen security mitigation protocols.
Specifically, the $2.72 million grant awarded to POLB will be divided across four projects:
- Maintenance for closed-circuit television and wireless security systems, including more than 750 cameras keeping watch across the Port.
- Support for existing security access control systems and information-sharing platforms connecting commercial agencies and law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels.
- Expansion of a cloud-based resiliency network in the event of terrorism, a cybersecurity attack, a natural disaster or other emergency outages.
- Modernization of the Port’s core security network to protect the integrity of the systems monitored by its security headquarters, the Joint Command and Control Center.
Officials welcomed the grant announcement as an opportunity to improve the Port’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from large-scale emergencies.
“The ports are the backbone of our local economy, and vital to the nation’s trade,” said Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson. “By investing in our security measures, we are not only protecting the movement of valuable cargo but also securing the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on the Port’s operations.”
“Ports are the economic engine of our community and our country,” said U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia. “As mayor, I saw the threats we face and the importance of federal assistance. This funding will protect our community and our economy, and I will continue to go to bat for our unique needs.”
“This grant will strengthen our ability to protect the workforce and critical infrastructure responsible for moving cargo valued at more than $200 billion annually,” said POLB CEO Mario Cordero. “We thank the Department of Homeland Security for helping enhance the security and resiliency of our operations in the event of an emergency.”
“I would like to thank our federal partners for providing us with the funding to elevate our security measures and enhance our ability to detect and respond to threats within the Port,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Sharon L. Weissman. “This grant will help ensure the safe and reliable movement of goods and secure our position as a leader in trans-Pacific trade.”