Port of Oakland to get $4 million for trucking security

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The Port of Oakland will receive almost $4 million to beef up its security from the $40 million Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will disperse for 11 of California’s ports, the Alameda Times Star reported today, Feb. 15.

The 11 ports were approved for funding by Proposition 1B under the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality and Port Security Bond Act of 2006. Proposition 1B approved $20 billion to enhance safety and security in the state’s transportation systems, as well as ameliorating its air quality; of that, $1 billion will be allocated to the ports and mass transit systems. California ports handle nearly half of the nation’s containerized goods.

Port spokesperson Marilyn Sandifur told the Times Star that Oakland’s allotment will be used to employ a truck tracking and reporting system to follow the movements of individual trucks throughout the port and its terminals. “In the future, we will be able to link this with other maritime domain awareness systems, that is, that combination of people and technology tracking power,” Sandifur told the newspaper.

The Port of Oakland is one of the six ports in the San Francisco Bay Area to be so endowed by the state government; the others include Redwood City, Richmond, Sacramento, San Francisco and Stockton.

Brian Keith, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security in Sacramento, told the Times Star that the allocation of the rest of these funds is being decided by a maritime security council consisting of the captains of ports and their security directors among the recipient ports. “The main goals for these ports will be cameras, surveillance control and procuring detection systems to control these threats – CBRNE – chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats,” Keith told the newspaper.

Proposition 1B funds are part of a plan to protect 37 million residents from manmade or natural disasters and will supplement nearly $171 million coming to the state from Federal Department of Homeland Security Grants Funding.