Oakland, San Francisco stiffed
on Federal Port Security grants
By Emmett Berg, Bay City News Service
September 25, 2006
The federal government largely bypassed San Francisco Bay Area
ports of call in security grants announced today, with less than
$1.2 million set aside for Richmond's port, and San Francisco
and Oakland ports receiving nothing.
Despite applying for the grants, and holding the status of high-risk
ports, the Port of Oakland and the Port of San Francisco each
received $0 from the Department of Homeland Security's fiscal
year 2006 Port Security Grant Program.
"We didn't get anything," said Marilyn Sandifur, spokeswoman
for the Port of Oakland.
"We're certainly disappointed, but we will be seeking funds
on an ongoing basis."
Sandifur said the Port of Oakland asked the Department of Homeland
Security for $6 million in federal funds to match a $2 million
local contribution intended to pay for four port-security related
She said the projects focused on communication, access control,
intrusion detection and waterside security. If voters pass a statewide
infrastructure bond measure in November, the port will apply for
some of those funds, Sandifur said.
"We do feel good about the baseline quality of security
here in Oakland," Sandifur said.
"But we all know security is a work in progress."
The sole port-related local federal funding this fiscal year
was a $1,185,716 grant to the Contra Costa County Office of the
Sheriff, which patrols the port area in Richmond.
Despite receiving nothing this fiscal year, ports in San Francisco
and Oakland have taken in about $9.7 million and $3.7 million
respectively since the port security grants were introduced following
the September 11 attacks. The Port of Richmond has received almost
$4.8 million since fiscal year 2002.
By contrast, the largest port in the U.S., the Los Angeles/Long
Beach complex, has received about $91 million to enhance port
security since 2002.
The Department of Homeland Security separately announced infrastructure
protection grants, including $11.2 million for transit security
in the Bay Area, which breaks down to $8.4 million for rail security,
$2.1 million for bus security and $700,000 for ferries.
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