The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are massive industrial complexes that, following the amped national security efforts of the government following the 9/11 attacks, have undergone equally massive security upgrades since they remain the two highest at-risk ports in the nation. In the ten years alone spanning after 9/11, the Port of Long Beach alone has seen some of the most sophisticated security tactics used, becoming a model nationally and internationally for protection.
However, some of those initiatives have been criticized or all together halted, such as the enormously expensive radiation scanners, or Advanced Spectroscopic Portals (ASP), that the Obama administration quietly dismissed as ineffective following confirmation that the devices did not work in picking out radioactive material or nuclear weapons attempting to be snuck into ports. Former President George W. Bush’s held only praise for the now-defunct program, in which the government had planned to spend some $1 billion to install the devices in every port in the U.S., following the first ever installment right here in Long Beach’s port.
This isn’t to necessarily downsize the efforts put forth. The Port of Long Beach’s video-equipped submersibles and worker identification program, the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, have been decidedly advanced and well-received security initiatives that explain how the port has received over $100 million in security grants since 2001. Nonetheless, given the fallout of certain efforts, the announcement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it has awarded both the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles $155 million in security grant funding alleviates some of the stress and criticism received by the quiet dismissal of the ASP program.
The grants awarded to Long Beach/Los Angeles County:
- $61,029,547 in Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) funding for the Long Beach/Los Angeles area, in which at least 25 percent of the funds are dedicated to law enforcement activities. The Urban Area Security Initiative assists high-density urban areas in building an enhanced and sustainable system to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism.
- $16,426,431 in Port Security Grant Program funding for the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. This program supports a port’s ability to prevent, detect, respond, and recover from a terrorist attack through training and safety improvements. The Ports of Long Beach and the Ports of Long Beach are the busiest ports in the nation.
- $1,050,000 Urban Security Initiative Nonprofit Security Grant Program funding. This will help to provide funding for security enhancements to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of terrorist attack.
- $43,503,883 in State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) funding for the state of California to implement a strategy to identify planning, organization, equipment, training, and exercise needs at the state and local levels to prevent, protect, respond, and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.
- $7,826,241 in Operation Stone Garden funding to the state of California to enhance cooperation among local, tribal, territorial, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to secure the United States’ border.
- $26,853,993 Emergency Management Performance Grant Program funding to enable California to assist local, State, and tribal governments in develop all-hazards emergency preparedness plans and systems.
Native American and Tribal Grants
- $1,357,717 to the state of California in Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program funding to assist tribes strengthen their resources against the risks associated with terrorist attacks.
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