Port Security Dollars

By: Candace White
By: Candace White

Florida's ports haven't been faring too well in getting grants from homeland security for this fiscal year. The Bush administration upped money for high-risk seaports, commuter trains, and other transit systems, but cities like Pensacola, Port St. Joe and Tampa are getting no grants.

Port Panama City isn't getting any funding this year either, but they don't seem to be stressing. Security officials say they did not apply for any grants this year.

Previously the port had applied for help in areas where they thought they were qualified, but received no money, so this year they say they didn't go through the hassle of the lengthy application process.

But just because they didn't apply this year doesn't mean they're ruling out the federal government for funding.

Charlie Lewis, Assistant Director of Security, said, "We'll make that decision every year because every year they have a different focus and they have different ground rules, and to say that we would never apply would be premature. We'll look about every situation and see what the ground rules one what the emphasis is on what we feel like we need based on risk assessment."

Even though Port Panama City didn't get funds from the homeland security grant, they are working together to put a portal on the port to x-ray containers.


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