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Port Authority wins national award for excellence in maritime security from Coast Guard

NEW YORK - The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey received the Rear Admiral Richard E. Bennis Award for its maritime security initiatives in the Port of New York and New Jersey since September 11, 2001.

In naming the Port Authority as one of its award recipients, the U.S. Coast Guard evaluated the agency against its peers across the country in the areas of people, partnerships, physical security, processes, and other security activities and programs. The award seeks to increase public awareness and stress the importance of protecting the marine transportation system.

"As the largest port on the East Coast and the third largest in the nation, it is vital that we continue to invest to secure this infrastructure," said Port Authority Chief Security Officer Joseph Dunne. "This award confirms that our investments have been effective in helping to reduce security risks that the port activities may pose."

"The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's security program ensures that we can provide a safe and secure environment for our customers and employees while having a robust, dynamic security program at our port facilities," said Port Commerce Department Director Richard Larrabee. "Receiving this award is especially meaningful given that we are the first recipients and the award is named after Admiral Richard Bennis, who on 9/11 was the Coast Guard Captain of the Port here in New York."

The Port Authority is responsible for securing port facilities on land and partners with the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure safe vessels, waterways, waterside facilities and cargo security. To date, the Port Authority has invested more than $37 million in security programs at the port. It also developed an effective Operational Security Program to enhance the security of its employees, tenants and port partners with a wide variety of training, planning and procedural initiatives.

The security program at the port is designed to be flexible and adaptable and is periodically updated to reflect the changes in the threat and regulatory environments. This is accomplished through compliance with federal regulations, the implementation of a capital program, operational initiatives and policy and procedural strategies that build upon various risk assessment that have been completed both before and since September 11, 2001.

The Port Authority oversees all of the New Jersey Marine Terminals (Port Newark, Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal and Port Jersey Marine Terminal) and the New York Marine Terminals (Red Hook Container Terminal, Brooklyn Piers, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (BCT), Howland Hook and Port Ivory). The port facilities service approximately 50,000 people and 16,000 trucks a day.