As part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) commitment to enhancing security at our nation's key ports and facilities, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge
has announced $179,025,900 million dollars in Port Security Grants
. The Port Security Grant Program provides
resources for security planning and projects to improve dockside and perimeter security which is vital to securing our critical national seaports. These new awards will contribute to important security upgrades like new patrol boats in the harbor, surveillance equipment
and the construction of new command and control facilities. This grant program represents one layer of the Department of Homeland Security's system of defenses for our nation's ports that includes monitoring the people, cargo and vessels entering our ports from the time they leave a foreign port to the time they arrive in the United States.
"The Department of Homeland Security is committed to further securing our nation's highways, mass transit systems
, railways, waterways and pipelines, each of which is critical to ensuring the freedom of mobility and economic growth," said Secretary Ridge. "These projects are critical to the mission of securing our ports."
The Transportation Security Administration
, the United States Coast
Guard and the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration evaluated the Port Security Grant Applications and selected the grant award recipients. The latest round of grants has been awarded to 442 projects in 326 locations to 235 applicant organizations from across the nation.
"The Department is committed to improving security at our maritime facilities, and we know that our ports are not secured from Washington. The relationship between the government and the private companies that run these facilities is a crucial one that we are committed to strengthening to protect our nation's ports," said Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson
In addition to these awards totaling $179 million, the Department of Homeland Security also
awarded $170 million from the FY'03 budget from the Port Security Grant Program in June and $75 million in port security grants for specific projects from the FY '03 Supplemental Budget from the Office for Domestic Preparedness in May 2003.