Port of Brownsville Trains for a National Security

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - 10:05am

The Port of Brownsville is going through their yearly drill training to prepare for unexpected national security issues.

Being able to respond and recover from emergency situations is the goal of today's practice at the Port of Brownsville. Law enforcement agencies from the local, state and federal levels all participated in the first Rio Grande Maritime Security Consortium.

"The purpose of the drills of today are really to ensure the security of our community and also to protect commerce," said Manuel Ortiz, Port of Brownsville PIO.

But maintaining safety does come at a price.

"We received over 10 million dollars in security grant funds and basically thats what's helped us put this together," said Ortiz.

Law enforcement officers were tested all morning, many of those officers not knowing what to expect next.

By air, land and sea the Port of Brownsville is covering all different emergency scenarios, so if the worst does happen they'll be prepared.

"We have simulations of bomb on a train, we also had hazmat explosions, pretty, much anything you can really think of was thrown at us," Ortiz.

Those involved will meet tomorrow to reflect and discuss today's results.

"Get all the agencies together to have a round table and really discuss what happened, whether all the channels of communication were properly working, whether the different processes that we have in place to react to an act of terrorism are working the way that they should be," said Ortiz.

The Port of Brownsville is required to do these drills every year so that security stays top notch.

"We feel very confident in the security we have in place, we think this just gives us an opportunity to put those into practice," Ortiz.

All agencies will gain planning and tactical experience through today's scenarios.

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