DHS coordinates interagency security at waterways, ports

Thursday - 7/7/2011, 2:47pm EDT

By Jory Heckman
Federal News Radio

American ports and waterways have just gotten a boost in security.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) brought forth a new plan, the Maritime Operations Coordination (MOC), that will improve cross-coordination efforts between the Coast Guard (USCG), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

"The MOC provides a critical plan to enhance the coordination of our operations," said Alan Bersin, the CBP commissioner who signed the plan. "This coordination allows us to create a more effective, layered approach to protecting our borders while reducing duplication of effort between the components."

As well as eliminating department oversight redundancy, the MOC plan pays specific attention to the sharing of information within and to external partners at the state federal, state, local, and international levels.

"With the signing of the MOC plan, we will be able to better coordinate and collaborate with federal agencies in order to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations who wish to do us harm," said Director John Morton of ICE. "ICE's Homeland Security Investigations' unique law enforcement authorities will assist DHS components in countering maritime threats effectively and efficiently."

MOC calls on field-level supervisors to implement the requirements outlined in the plans, such as providing an "active, layered, and scalable security presence" to maritime threats to the United States.

Jory Heckman is an intern with Federal News Radio.

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