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American Shipper

Security leadership changes at Port of Miami

Security leadership changes at Port of Miami

   A new Port of Miami security director takes charge today, following the resignations of the port's top two security officials.

   Thursday was the last day for security chief James Maes, who is being replaced by Capt. Harvey Honig, former head of the Miami-Dade Police Department's Seaport Unit. In addition, Denise Minakowski, the No. 2 security official as chief of safety and security compliance, is leaving the port after today.

   Maes, a former U.S. Coast Guard captain of the port for Miami, will be joining a private-sector security firm that recruited him. Minakowski has been hired by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.

   Honig, like Maes, will hold the title of assistant director of the port for security.

   The changes come as the port is heading into the latest round of security inspections by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The FDLE has oversight of the strict state seaport security laws that took effect July 1, 2006.

   The Port of Miami has not come into full compliance with the new state rules pertaining to access controls, fencing and lighting. But Maes has said at various events the port has been making continual gains in security.

   The port is in compliance with federal standards monitored by the U.S. Coast Guard.

   Inspectors from the FDLE, much like their federal counterparts, often find instances of non-compliance when they conduct security checks. The key is to be ruled in 'substantial compliance.' Ports then set about the task of changing anything that is not in full compliance.

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