Port of Camden gets $932,000 for Surveillance Boats, Bomb Detection

The Port of Camden, N.J., has received $932,000 in federal grants that will pay for two state police surveillance boats and a bomb detection dog for the Delaware River Port Authority's canine unit, the state announced yesterday.

The two 28-foot state police vessels can house an underwater camera system to scan hulls of ships, bulkheads and dock areas for potential explosive devices, acting Gov. Richard J. Codey said. The boats also will be equipped with advanced infrared cameras for nighttime surveillance.

The vessels will help officials with the daunting task of patrolling the Delaware River, the busiest oil port on the East Coast. The boats will not be used for firefighting, a particular concern on a river that lacks firefighting capability for marine incidents.

About $57,000 of the grant will add a fourth bomb detection dog to the port authority's canine unit, which began in May 2003. The canine team will join the statewide Detect and Render Safe Task Force, which links the state's bomb-detecting canines and its 10 bomb squads in a unified effort to detect and defuse explosives.

The state also received $1.62 million for similar vessels and dive trucks at the Port of New York/New Jersey in Newark and Elizabeth.

(c) 2005 Associated Press