DHS Awards NJ Almost $11m

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security almost $11 million to bolster security in port areas both in northern and southern New Jersey, Director of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) Richard L. Cañas said. Another $2.7 million in port funding went to New Jersey private companies and a municipality in the two port areas.

Cañas said that OHSP was awarded more than $7.9 million, out of a total of approximately $27.3 million for the New York/New Jersey port region. This represents the largest single grant for this port. In addition, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was awarded almost $4.8 million, a portion of which will be spent on security projects that will benefit New Jersey. In the Delaware Bay region made up of ports in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, Cañas said that OHSP was awarded almost $3.1 million, the largest single grant of a total of nearly $13.3 million provided to the port region. Camden City received $1.5 in grants to its police and fire departments and four private energy companies received a total of $242,500.

Cañas said that among a variety of initiatives, OHSP will use its grants to help prevent attacks against ships and port facilities from improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Funds will be used to purchase state-of-the-art underwater detection devices, as well as technology for maritime law enforcement officers, such as night-vision goggles and GPS tracking devices. In addition, OHSP will use funds for training and exercising for emergency personnel and law enforcement officers in areas surrounding maritime facilities who may be called to respond to incidents at ports. The grant funds will also support a regional Philadelphia fusion center that will cover the port and efforts to implement the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. For the 2007 grant cycle, DHS divided the nation’s eligible ports into four tiers based on risk. DHS deemed both The New York/New Jersey and Delaware Bay port areas to be Tier 1 ports, or those at the highest risk of attack. Tier 1 ports were eligible to compete for $120 million, or roughly 60 percent of the total 2007 port program funding of $202.3 million. The remaining ports in Tiers 2, 3 and 4 competed for the remaining funds. In 2006, DHS awarded a total of $168.1 million in the Port Security Grant Program.

In that year, OHSP received grants totaling nearly $6.7 million for security projects in both its northern and southern ports. DHS also announced several other infrastructure protection awards. Under the 2007 Intercity Bus Security Grant Program, 11 private bus companies that operate in New Jersey will share $3.43 million. In addition, as part of the 2007 Ferry Security Awards, the Cape May – Lewes Ferry received $155,807, and four ferry companies in the New York/New Jersey harbor are sharing more than $1.5 million to effect security enhancements.

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