Port Everglades gains high Florida security rating
The State of Florida says Port Everglades is now in 'substantial compliance' with state security standards.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued the rating November 9. The rating is based on a pre-Sept. 11, 2001 security standard that has been widely recognized as the nation's most stringent security standard. The State of Florida and all Florida ports developed the standards, which were adopted in November 2000, in response to the state's long battle against drug smuggling and other illegal activities. Many of the recommendations have been used as a model security practices aimed at stopping terrorist attacks at other ports nationwide.
The 'substantial compliance' rating is a top standard that requires extensive work and investments to achieve. Port Everglades was already rated as being in full compliance with the federal Maritime Transportation Security Act passed in the aftermath of 9/11.
Officials at Port Everglades said the port had invested nearly $45 million in new security infrastructure and training since November 2000. Enhancements include installation of more than 200 fixed and closed-circuit cameras monitoring port entry and exit points and providing surveillance of the port's landside and waterside perimeters.
Port Everglades was the first commercial seaport to install floating waterside barriers that protect vessels carrying sensitive cargoes. The port has installed 17 miles of underground conduits for fiber optic cables to serve a system of closed circuit television and automated access control that is monitored within the Security Operations Center.
The port has also strengthened the four entrances, establishing Access Control Points staffed by the county sheriff's office.
A training program has been established for all private security firms so their employees get a customized seaport security training course. More than 1,000 security guards have completed the port's security course in the last year.