Philadelphia gets $2M in security grants

Philadelphia gets $2M in security grants

The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority has received almost $2 million from the federal government for security-enhancement projects at the Port of Philadelphia.

News of the award comes as a relief to the port, which failed in a prior attempt to secure such funding. "We were disappointed we didn't receive anything in the first round of TSA grants," said port spokesman Joseph Menta. "This time we really did our homework."

Philadelphia's recent designation as a Strategic Military Port and the fact that it will be the berthing location for two U.S. Navy large, medium speed roll-on/roll-off (LMSR) vessels helped the port secure federal funds this time, port officials added.

Awarded by the Transportation Security Administration and the Office of Domestic Preparedness, the $1,916,247 in grant monies will be used to beef up video surveillance and alarm systems, erect perimeter barriers and add lighting.

Establishing a uniform method to identify all port users, such as truckers and rail line operators, is another priority on the Port of Philadelphia's security to-do list.

Most of the funding will go toward security improvements at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the port's largest and busiest terminal, which mostly handles containers.

Port matching funds of $479,062 also will contribute to these improvements, resulting in close to $2.4 million being used to increase security at Philadelphia cargo terminals.