Port Security Strengthened by Web-based Network
Coordination of surveillance cameras one of many post-9/11 measures
September 5, 2008
Port officials are expanding a surveillance-camera network that enhances security throughout the Port of Long Beach by sharing live video streams among law enforcement agencies, terminal operators and other Port stakeholders.
The Internet-based surveillance portal system boosts coordination of security efforts among Port tenants, first-responders, city departments and other partners by linking them to a Port-wide network of monitoring cameras. Although it uses the web, only authorized users are able to tap into the secure system. The web-based network was designed and installed by the Lanair Group of Los Angeles.
The Port has installed about 100 monitoring cameras throughout the harbor area. These monitors and the portal system are just part of a security system that has greatly improved at the Port since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
"We've dramatically upgraded security at the Port of Long Beach in recent years, as we've moved from a traditional law-enforcement model, to one based on asset protection," said Port Security Director Cosmo Perrone. "And by integrating our systems and improving communications with our security partners and port stakeholders, we will continually refine our tactics and tools to keep the Port's operations as safe as possible."
Since 9/11, the Port and the other government agencies have upgraded technology and developed a multi-layered approach to increase security at the Port complex and surrounding communities. Security at the Port of Long Beach is the multi-jurisdictional responsibility of many government agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs & Border Protection, state and federal Homeland Security offices, the Long Beach Police Department, and the Port's own Harbor Patrol. These agencies work in close cooperation to secure the Port's cargo, terminals, roadways and waterways.
New measures launched by the Port of Long Beach since 2001 include a state-of-the-art Security Command and Control Center that will open by year's end to serve as a communications hub for security agencies that protect the port complex.
The Port has also implemented systems and equipment to enhance detection, prevention and response capabilities. Communications within the Port has been enhanced with roadway message signs, an emergency AM radio station, and an automated notification system. The Port's Harbor Patrol has deployed explosive detection equipment. The Harbor Patrol established a dive team equipped with remotely-operated submersibles with video and sonar capabilities to aid in underwater inspections and detection of hazards.
On another front, the Port is developing a 'business continuity plan" to give the Port the best chance possible to continue operating in the event of an emergency. The Port has received $58 million in federal and state homeland security grants since 2001 to help fund these post 9/11 projects. In addition, the Port has spent its own funds on capital projects and has significantly increased its yearly operating budget, including police and fire protection services.
The surveillance-camera networking project is an example of how the Port is finding creative ways to maximize security systems already in the Port. More than 25 Port stakeholders are now using the portal. The Port recently completed a demonstration project that networked the cameras from Port tenants SSA Marine and Jacobsen Pilots, and the Port is now expanding the program to more stakeholders. The $1.5 million expansion of the system is fully funded by a security grant from the statewide Proposition 1B approved by voters in 2006.
Because the portal system allows users to share views, the project boosts efficient use of security funding.