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Published: Saturday, 5/17/2008

$1.9M federal grant is awarded for security at local port terminals

McCrimmon McCrimmon

New security systems at Toledo's waterfront terminals and an identification system for maritime workers will be provided by $1.9 million in federal grants the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority received yesterday.

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) said the local money was the largest amount awarded for facilities in either Ohio or Michigan under the Port Security Grant Program.

"Our port is the aorta for international commerce moving through northwest Ohio," Miss Kaptur said in a statement announcing the grants.

"We are located at the fulcrum of the Great Lakes shipping system and share an important border with Canada.

"This award will substantially enhance the security of our facilities so we can continue to compete globally," Miss Kaptur said.

Warren McCrimmon, the port authority's seaport director, said the award includes two distinct Department of Homeland Security grants, one for security cameras, lighting, and associated hardware and the other for a card-reader identification system for dock workers and mariners.

Computer-linked surveillance cameras are to be installed to monitor activity in and around the 19 terminals along the Toledo waterfront, including those belonging to the port authority and to private dock operators.

The $896,000 surveillance project will include new lighting and 30 to 40-foot towers for the cameras "to deter criminal and potential terrorist activity," Miss Kaptur's announcement said.

Mr. McCrimmon said cameras like those described in the project already are in use at the International Cargo Docks the port authority owns.

Surveillance installation throughout the rest of the port should be completed by year's end, the seaport director said.

Installation of the Transportation Workers' Identification Card system at the Port of Toledo, for which the homeland security department provided a $986,000 grant, will not occur until federal authorities issue specifications for the system, Mr. McCrimmon said.

About 12.7 million tons of cargo crossed Toledo's various docks last year, primarily bulk materials like coal, iron ore, grain, and crushed stone, but also including steel pipe, petroleum products, fertilizer, wind-turbine parts, and electrical transformers.

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