Thursday, March 20, 2008

Forward-Thinking Port Security

A nice story out of Wrightsville Beach, NC, in the wake of a recent incident where authorities received a tip that a nuclear device was present at the Port of Wilmington. They determined it was a hoax. But the important thing is how they were prepared for it:

One of the things we had to do was start developing relationships with our counterparts in emergency services — law enforcement, fire, EMS, Coast Guard — all those folks who have a stake in the port facility,” Doug Campen, director of safety and security for the North Carolina State Ports Authority, said.

The Port of Wilmington utilizes four levels of security — Port Authority Security, the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USBP) and local agencies. Each agency plays a different role in keeping the ports secure. For example, the USBP is responsible for container inspection, Campen said. Each agency is vital to the port’s security, but the cooperation of local agencies — WPD, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department, the Leland Police Department and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Department — come to the fore in an emergency situation.

“In the event we have something major where we needed additional manpower, those are the folks we’re going to be calling upon. Our first responders would be local (agencies),” Campen said.
Ideally, local agencies would be involved in prevention as much as response. Everyone has a piece of the puzzle.

No comments: