Bush Visits N.J. Port, Outlines Homeland Security Plan

Monday, June 24, 2002
President Bush visited Port Elizabeth in New Jersey today to outline new security measures detailed in the Homeland Security plan. During his visit to the largest marine cargo terminal on the east coast, President Bush showed appreciation and admiration of the “massive size of this operation and its obvious importance to the economy of our country." Bush honored and recognized many individuals but and "was impressed ...by the way New Jersey firefighters and police officers and emergency rescue units and Port Authority officers responded on September the 11th and have continued to respond.” The Bush administration recently announced more than $92 million in federal grants to maximize security measures in the ports. President Bush outlined a few tactics that will ensure safer ports: The Customs Service is working with overseas ports and shippers to improve its knowledge of container shipments, assessing risk so that we have a better feel of who we ought to look at, what we ought to worry about. Inspectors here can focus on high risk shipments. America will be better protected. The Port Authority of New York and Jersey has been putting together a $60 million closed-circuit TV security system, with cameras all around sensitive areas here at the port. This will strengthen our ability to safeguard these facilities. Coast Guard inspectors and law enforcement officials currently board targeted commercial vessels shortly before they enter the Port Authority, and then they escort them safely to docks. Tomorrow, the Coast Guard's Deep Water Project will award a multi-year contract to replace aging ships and aircrafts, and improve communications and information sharing. Bush said, "The whole purpose is to push out our maritime borders, giving us more time to identify threats and more time to respond. The Coast Guard is also working on ways to better detect weapons of mass destruction."

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