State Department, San Diego Unified Port District bolster security

The U.S. State Department has recently partnered with the San Diego Unified Port District to improve the department’s maritime security assistance to Latin America and Asia.

The partnership will combine the experience of the two departments to help neighboring nations enhance their border security despite the rising rates of criminal threats. Ambassador William Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), was one of the representatives to sign the formal Memorandum of Understanding.

The Harbor Police Department is responsible for patrolling San Diego Bay, San Diego International Airport and surrounding waterfront areas. The department has 120 trained officers with expertise in subjects such as counter smuggling, maritime firefighting, human trafficking, aviation security, K-9 detection of narcotics/explosives, vessel operations, dive operations and maritime tactical training.

The Harbor Police will offer both mentorship and training as the new partnership battles international crime and establishes neighboring nations’ effective port and maritime security. The Harbor Police have agreed to address specific challenges as well as offer regional perspective on a variety of topics pertinent to the partnership.

These new relationships are based on the bureau’s previous work with Port Miami to improve security within the Caribbean and Latin America.