Doug Bedell — September 23, 2008, 1:28 pm

Inland Port Security Needs Attention

Trying to protect equally against all possible security threats across the nation may not be doable, but it certainly makes little sense to neglect security at inland ports. 

SecurityInfoWatch reports on a warning that was given at the recent ASIS trade show not to overlook security procedures at smaller ports. Laurie Thomas, of the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio, spoke on “Maritime Security: It’s not just for the megaports.” She noted that there is a lot of merchandise, equipment, materials and chemicals being shipped deep inland on waterways. And ports on those routes are being treated unevenly in terms of security preparedness and funding.

“For the majority of facilities we deal with, we are back in the stone age. Predominantly, the only tools we have at our disposal are lights, fences, locks and general employee vigilance.”  PRO Barrier Engineering would like to see effective vehicle barriers on that list, but can understand why they’re not. 

“Budget is always a big deal,” Thomas told her ASIS audience, “I know that you don’t have the money to do what you need to do.”

But she listed several steps that can be taken at least to counter any feeling that “it can’t happen here”:

   • Coordinate with local first responder community to set up a response plan before an incident 
   • Stay up to date on maritime security personnel standards (33 CFR 104.220 and 33 CFR 105.210
   • Pay attention to smaller vessels as terrorist vehicles (look to USS Cole attack and the attack on French supertanker the M/V Limburg) 
   • Use the information advantages from the USCG homeport website 
   • Participate in an Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC) 
   • Get ready for Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC™) implementations

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