Freight News, Sea

Funds to Strengthen Port of Baltimore’s Excellent Security Already in Place

[ December 22, 2017   //   ]

The Marland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) recently received $1,189,600 through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s federal port security grant program to improve security initiatives at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s public marine terminals. The funding, from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is for three separate projects: cybersecurity, technology upgrades, and updating the facility security plan for the port’s public terminals.

“It is critically important for the Port of Baltimore to continue to implement the latest security measures to ensure the safety and security of the people who work there and the cargo the port handles,” said MDOT MPA Executive Director James J. White. “Creating a successful balance
between productive cargo-handling and a strong security program is something we will continue to pursue.”

The first grant will improve cybersecurity initiatives including data classification standards to ensure sensitive information is not disclosed. It will also strengthen incident response and recovery activities.

The second grant will help improve and upgrade security measures at the primary entrance to the port’s Dundalk Marine Terminal, including new software, physical security, communications and access control electronics.

The final grant was awarded to MDOT MPA to select a specialized company to perform security assessments at the port’s six public marine terminals and update the MDOT MPA’s Facility Security Plan, a federally-required document overseen by Coast Guard Sector Baltimore
that describes security measures, policies, and procedures at the public marine terminals.

The Coast Guard has awarded the MDOT MPA a top rating of ‘Excellent’ on annual security assessments of the port’s public marine terminal for six consecutive years. The visual inspection includes reviews of access control procedures and makes certain that physical security fixtures,
such as high-mast lighting and fencing, meet federal security standards. The MDOT MPA has moved forward in recent years with newer and stronger security initiatives, including cyber, closed circuit television, and access controls.