The Port of Los Angeles, located in San Pedro Bay, is Southern California's gateway to international commerce. Just 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, this booming seaport is the nation's largest container port and is also known for its groundbreaking environmental initiatives, progressive security measures, and diverse recreational and educational facilities. A department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port of Los Angeles encompasses 7,500 acres, 43 miles of waterfront and features 27 cargo terminals, including dry and liquid bulk, container, break bulk, automobile and omni facilities. Combined, these terminals handle more than 157 million metric revenue tons of cargo annually.
In 2009, the Port moved an impressive 6.7 million TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units). The Port is the busiest port in the United States by container volume, the 16th busiest container port in the world and the 7th busiest internationally when combined with the neighboring Port of Long Beach. The Port of Los Angeles is among the largest cruise ship centers on the West Coast of the United States and contains three ship berths transporting more than 850,000 passengers annually. The newly renovated World Cruise Center is claimed to be "the nation's most secure cruise passenger complex." As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 1.1 million jobs in California and $21.5 billion in tax revenue throughout the United States.
The Port of Los Angeles continues to implement a number of strategic initiatives that center around the safety and security of its facilities and the surrounding community. Taking a leadership role in the development of strategies to mitigate security risks, the Port works closely with public and private partners to plan and coordinate innovative security measures.
Today, one of the country's most innovative ports in terms of security measures, the Port of Los Angeles spent years working on designing and deploying an innovative security platform. Prior to 2006, the Port operated with a few analog cameras across their expansive grounds. "We had just a few cameras run independently through an IP address operated by different departments," says Don Farrell, captain of the Los Angeles Port Police. "There was no master plan or integration of the systems."
Determining and Funding Security Needs
Prior to a new security system or plan, Port officials orchestrated a training exercise to determine how agencies would respond to a potential threat. The Port of Los Angeles announced that a container with radiological contents had exploded. Evaluating the amount of agencies that responded (Los Angeles Police Department, Coast Guard, County Sheriff, Los Angeles County, FBI and more), they concluded the need to design a phased approach to deploying an integrated security solution. "We discovered that too much important information could possibly be lost or misinterpreted by the time it reached the appropriate agency," Farrell explains.
Leveraging funding from the Port Security Grant Program, officials designed a new security system that would upgrade a disparate system into an integrated modern and innovative solution. In order to successfully implement the new security platform, the Port worked in phases to deploy the most important elements first.
Situational Awareness: The Threat Detection Center
Monitoring 43 miles of waterfront can be a daunting task. The port sought a solution that would unify stakeholders and effectively monitor the vast miles of waterfront. After an extensive evaluation process, the Port of Los Angeles chose the Nextiva IP video portfolio from Verint Video Intelligence Solutions. This initial deployment is known as the Waterside Surveillance System. Over the years, the Port has made continuous investments in technology and today is leveraging next-generation Nextiva Video Management software, integrated analytics, encoders/decoders and wireless devices along the port's waterfront and land-based facilities. The Nextiva IP video solution integrates with more than 350 third-party cameras to monitor highly critical areas. Captured data is then transmitted to a state-of the-art "Threat Detection Center" for central monitoring on Nextiva Review workstations.