Grants intended to boost US port security

As part of the department's commitment to enhance security at United States ports and facilities, Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge has announced $49,429,867 in the fourth round of port security grants.

The Port Security Grant Program provides resources for projects to improve dockside and perimeter security vital to securing critical national seaports. These awards will contribute to security upgrades such as surveillance equipment, access controls to restricted areas, communications equipment, and construction of new command and control facilities.

This grant program represents one layer of the Department of Homeland Security's system of defenses for US ports that includes monitoring people, cargo, and vessels entering these ports from the time they leave a foreign port to the time they arrive in the United States.

The Office for Domestic Preparedness, Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, the US Coast Guard, and the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration evaluated this round of port security grant applications and chose 154 award recipients nationwide.

Besides this round of awards, the Department of Homeland Security awarded $92 million in June 2002, $168 million in July 2003, and $179 million in December 2003 as part of the Port Security Grant Program, and $75 million from the Urban Area Security Initiative for port security in August 2003.

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