News Releases

Murray Secures Funds for Operation Safe Commerce; Announces Release of Port Security Grants

Sep 29 2003

Grants, appropriations will help protect ports, economy, way of life

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray today announced that the Department of Homeland Security will release $4.1 million in port security grants for the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma. Murray, a member of the Senate’s Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, worked to secure these funds in the fiscal year 2003 Supplemental Appropriations bill. The Office of Domestic Preparedness will release the funds on Tuesday, September 30.

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma will use these funds to purchase new equipment, upgrade emergency communications technology, provide resources for first responders and improve patrol vehicles.

“I am proud to have helped secure this important funding to improve the safety of our ports and the security of our residents,” Senator Murray said. “New equipment, communications systems and resources for our first responders have been a costly, yet necessary expense for Washington state. This funding will help improve preparedness, while easing the burden on local citizens.”

The Port Security Grants Include:

  • $1,817,146, Port of Seattle (Securing Passenger Terminals)
  • $1,758,624, Port of Tacoma (Network Infrastructure Upgrades)
  • $315,000, Port of Seattle (Security Force Equipment Upgrades)
  • $233,301, Port of Tacoma (Security Force Equipment Upgrades)

Murray also announced that she has secured $17 million in the 2004 Homeland Security Appropriations Conference Report for Operation Safe Commerce (OSC), an innovative port security initiative that she developed last year.

Murray, a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, earmarked $30 million for the project in the Senate version of the Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which passed the full Senate in July. President Bush requested $2.5 million for the program. Since the House also provided only $2.5 million in its version of the Homeland Security bill, Murray was proud to have secured $17 million in the final conference report for OSC.

The pilot program is helping the nation’s three largest container load centers monitor and track cargo containers from their port of origin to their final destination – this additional funding will help continue the effort and expand the program to other load centers.

“Our state and nation will be safer because of Operation Safe Commerce,” Senator Murray said. “I am proud to provide this support to make security at our ports a top national priority. This bill will help us to protect more Americans and keep commerce moving through our nation’s ports.”