Describe the components that contribute to port security planning. Why are they important and what aspects of security planning are considered in port facility operations?
The main driving factor behind port-security comes from the laws and regulations that have been developed over the years in acknowledgment of the security flaws that could have been exploited. With that in mind, these ever-evolving laws and regulations need to be taken into consideration and satisfied while planning port security. This begins at the communication level between stakeholders and authorities overseeing the security operations. Information Technology (IT) infrastructure needs to be utilized that allows for critical information to be shared as rapidly as possible.
physical space must be identified for the addition of technological advances that aid in the inspection of cargo. The identification of critical security roles and subsequent training of personnel to fill those roles is also of vital importance. The personnel assigned to port security roles must also be able to understand the procedures that need to be implemented in an emergency and be able to take action in the event they are needed. (Maritime Executive, 2015)
As the main element of port operations, the private enterprise must be taken into consideration. The cost-benefit analysis of security vulnerabilities, as well as what impacts the implementation of security protocols have played a vital role in the planning and development of port security. Security measures that hinder the efficient flow of goods will invariably impact the profitability of the enterprise and create a situation where investment in activities that require the utilization of ports may be reduced.
The reason the laws and regulations were introduced was not to impact the flow of goods and profitability but to increase the security of our nation’s ports and prevent disruption. While it may be easy to fall into the trap of “fortress mentality” and implement a vast array of security measures, accounting for the profitability and efficiency of the private industries that are the main contributors to ports is a high priority.
The Secure Freight Initiative is a continuance of other initiatives and is a layered approach in conjunction with similar programs including; The Mega ports Initiative, the Container Security Initiative, and the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT). The main purpose of these different programs is to identify and interdict cargo that may present a risk to the United States.
The Secure Freight Initiative adds another layer to the container security onion by allocating funding towards radiographical equipment designed to detect nuclear materials. These technologies will scan for radiation and in the event of an alert, it will inform both DHS and the host nation simultaneously. Containers are also prescreened for information that could potentially identify them as high risk which improves the ability of risk analysis and targeting to pinpoint containers that warrant a higher level of scrutiny. (DHS, 2019)
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “Secure Freight Initiative” September 18, 2019, resourced from https://www.dhs.gov/secure-freight-initiative The Maritime Executive “Port Security Requires Early Planning” September 8, 2015, Resourced from https://www.maritime-executive.com/corporate/port-security-requiresearly-planning