LA Port Gets $11.4M in Security Funding

LOS ANGELES -- Port of Los Angeles officials received an $11.4 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday to help increase communications between it and the Port of Long Beach.

A new fiber-optic data transfer network is designed to improve communications between the giant ports, and the grant -- the largest the port has received from the federal government for security enhancements -- will support it, officials said.

Part of the money will also buy new camera surveillance equipment and improve the port's explosive device detection system, said Los Angeles mayoral aide Joe Ramallo.

The port will also spend an additional $3.74 million as part of cost-sharing required by the federal port security program, Ramallo said.

The Port of Los Angeles has received nearly $27 million over five rounds of federal security grants since June 2002, Ramallo said.

"I am very encouraged by the increased allocation our port received in the latest round of port security funding," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.

"The federal government demonstrated its commitment to shoring up high-threat and high-risk ports, especially the Port of Los Angeles, which is the nation's largest."

Earlier in the summer, the Port of Long Beach received $750,000 from the federal government to improve security, communications equipment, cameras, lighting, fencing and underwater surveillance.

(c) 2005 Press-Telegram, Long Beach, Calif.