PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Port of Palm Beach officials say their security system is the best in the state. The Director of Port Security says few other ports have advanced ID cards at each security checkpoint to allow employees and truck drivers on-site.
"Everytime somebody swipes their badge anywhere on the port over the almost 200 acres their photo will pop up and identify the area which they're going and their level of authorization for that area," says Ken Hern, head of security. "Other ports may just have a credential that's color coded and you show it to an officer and off you go."
If you're at the Port of Palm Beach, there's a good chance Hern is watching you. From the loading docks, to the Broadway Bridge, to the waves... hundreds of cameras capture nearly every inch of the port.
A man in a stolen car tested security at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale last week. He busted through a security gate and made it so far into the port, a cruise ship was diverted from its terminal. Hern was glued to his Blackberry that morning, making sure there was no threat to the Port of Palm Beach. Hern says if anyone tried to do the same thing at his port, police and federal agents would respond.
"While we prepare for the worst and hope for the best, should anything occur out here at the port, we can address it and address it swiftly. It would be a multi-agency, multi-reponse to put down any and all threats to the seaport," says Hern.
235,000 containers come and go from the port annually. Crews screen every container, most of which travel to the Caribbean.
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