Transportation Security Chief Visits Port
Federal officials see port safeguards firsthand
December 3, 2010
John S. Pistole, Administrator of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, along with other federal officials visited the Port of Long Beach on Thursday to see firsthand the testing of a key security measure for shipping facilities.
The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program is a national identification system that requires transportation workers, including those in the maritime industry, to pass background checks before accessing port facilities. All dock workers and drayage truck drivers, for example, are required to have them.
The Port of Long Beach is one of the few facilities in the country selected by TSA, which administers TWIC, to test an electronic reader system for TWIC cards.
Pistole visited SSA Terminals in Pier A, one of five terminals at the Port equipped with the electronic card readers. Later he met with other agencies responsible for the multi-layered protection of the Port: local police, fire, U.S. Coast Guard and customs officials.
During a meeting at the Port's Command and Control Center hosted by Port Director of Security Cosmo Perrone, Pistole commended the partnership and cooperation he witnessed during his visit and reminded all present "we are all in this together."
The Port of Long Beach, which moves about $140 billion in cargo each year, is a critical national asset. It is estimated that a shutdown of the Port complex would cost the U.S. economy about $1 billion a day. The Port spends close to $25 million annually on security and invests heavily on new technology. The Command and Control Center, which opened last year, boasts the latest in surveillance technology and serves as the headquarters of the Port’s Harbor Patrol and its deepwater salvage-and-recovery team, the only one of its kind among U.S. ports. To read more about Port security and its capabilities such as video equipped submersibles, radiation scanners and others, click here.