Aug. 16, 2002 – A two-year grant of $398,493 from the Law Enforcement Planning Commission will enable the Port Authority to launch a Police Response Improvement Program, VIPA's executive director, Gordon Finch, said in a release. The new program is intended to enhance security at the territory's airports and seaports.
"Since the terrorist attacks, we have been diligently working on ways to improve security at all of our ports to ensure the safety of our passengers and tenants," Finch said. He also said the new program should help reduce by one-third the Port Authority's response time to crimes committed at VIPA facilities.
Toward that goal, Finch said, VIPA will work more closely with the Police Department and the U.S. Attorney's Office. Plans call for establishing a digital police-band radio communications system integrated with that of the Police Department. This will allow Port Authority police to share information with such agencies as the FBI, Immigration and Naturalization Service and Customs.
Funding from the grant also will allow the Port Authority to hire at least four more officers and provide specialized training for officers. And, the release stated, some of the money will go to buy video surveillance cameras, devices to detect explosives and narcotics, and computer software that will enable officers to transmit fingerprints to the FBI registry.
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