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Balancing act

"Balancing act" Continued...

Issue: "Street theater," Sept. 30, 2006

The Working Group concluded that international cooperation would be required to "contain" the need to close seaports after an incident or attack and to "reboot" the shipping infrastructure quickly and efficiently.

In the meantime, major ports like Long Beach work with available resources. Over the past five years, Long Beach has spent $35 million in federal grant money to improve port surveillance, including installation of cameras, motion detectors, and infrared systems monitored by live security personnel. The amount is less than half of the $89 million the port requested. But since 9/11 was an airborne attack, the security priority for DHS and Congress "has been airports, not seaports," Wong said. "The [grant] amount pales in comparison to what the government is spending on airport security, and everybody agrees we need to do more."

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