Torres Introduces Bills to Improve LA Ports' Security
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (D-Pomona) introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at improving coordination in homeland security efforts, particularly as they relate to area ports.
“With many of the goods that arrive at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles coming through my district before being distributed throughout the rest of the country, securing our area ports is one of my top priorities,” stated Torres. “Earlier this year I had the opportunity to tour the Port of Long Beach’s Joint Command and Control Center (JCCC) and learn about some of the unique security challenges facing our nation’s ports. It became clear to me then that maritime security is a critical piece of our national homeland security mission.”
The first piece of legislation, a bill to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), would permanently establish FLETC and make it required by law. FLETC trains more than 70,000 law enforcement officers across a variety of agencies each year at seven locations around the country but has not been reauthorized since 1970. One of those locations is at the Port of LA where FLETC has a unique partnership with the Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center (MLETC) to develop specialized training standards and strategies for the protection of America’s ports and waterways.
The second bill, the Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in Our Ports Act of 2015, would improve information sharing and cooperation in addressing cyber security risks at our nation’s ports.
“During a recent hearing, the Port of Long Beach brought up significant cyber security vulnerabilities at U.S. ports,” continued Torres. “This is due in part to port landlords not always coordinating with port tenants and also to federal agencies only beginning to consider the impact of a cyber-attack on our maritime infrastructure in its security assessments and strategies. The two bills I have introduced will help keep LA area ports safe and ensure that we continue to be a leader in developing innovative maritime security strategies and techniques that can be used by law enforcement across the country.”
Both bills are scheduled to be voted on in the Homeland Security Committee next week. The full text of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers Reform and Improvement Act can be found here, and the full text of the Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Confirmation in Our Ports Act can be found here.