Accomplishments for Core Goal #12: Transportation Security
The State has focused its transportation security efforts on conducting comprehensive vulnerability assessments and hardening key transportation assets such as airports, ports, bridges and tunnels with physical countermeasures including CCTV and access control systems, and integrating various security enhancements to create redundant and multilayered protection. Successfully securing Maryland’s transportation assets requires coordination between many agencies, across jurisdictional boundaries, and with private sector partners. Following are key projects and accomplishments:
- Received a near-perfect score for the sixth year in a row since 2008 on the U.S. Coast Guard’s assessment of security at the Port of Baltimore’s MPA terminals. The U.S. Coast Guard performs an annual security assessment on each port of call in the country and inspects all physical security assets (fence lines, access control points, lighting, etc.) that protect port facilities. Again in 2013, the U.S. Coast Guard awarded the MPA an “Excellent” assessment for security. In addition, in 2013 the European Commission selected the Port of Baltimore to do its first ever joint inspection with the USCG. Since 2007, the MPA has repaired port fencing and physical barriers to meet current industrial standards, instituted web-controlled cyber locks on all MPA terminal gates, dispatched officers to perform regular fence-line inspections, and tightened access to terminals through more rigorous checks on credentials of port employees and visitors. These and multiple additional security improvements have resulted in an improved performance on the U.S. Coast Guard’s assessment.
- Integrating CCTV, access control, fire alarms, and other security and life-safety systems at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport’s into a single Consolidated Dispatch Center (CDC). BWI Marshall has its own in-airport Fire and EMS services which require dispatch services similar to regular community-based departments. With support from the TSA, the Maryland Aviation Administration is implementing an emergency response platform where airport security personnel will be able to monitor the airport’s CCTV and fire alarm systems — which are currently being upgraded — and dispatch police or fire for incident response. This modernized dispatch center for fire, EMS, and law enforcement will improve response capabilities for the BWI community. The new Consolidated Dispatch Center was completed in June 2013.
- Installed security CCTV cameras at all State-owned terminals at the Port of Baltimore and completed construction of a new CCTV monitoring center at Dundalk Marine Terminal. In 2012, the Maryland Port Administration completed construction of a CCTV monitoring center that integrates live video feeds covering the entrances and perimeters of all six MPA terminals at the Port of Baltimore plus the World Trade Center in the Inner Harbor. Port security can monitor these camera feeds 24/7 at the new facility and dispatch Maryland Transportation Authority Police patrols to respond to incidents or unauthorized entrances onto MPA terminals.
- Building a comprehensive set of electronic security measures at Maryland’s five toll bridges. Maryland’s Transportation Authority (MDTA) is currently implementing an $11.5 million capital improvement project to install a set of electronic security measures — including CCTV cameras, radar units, electronic access control locks, stopped-vehicle detection, and emergency lighting — at the State’s high-volume, toll highway bridges: the Key, Hatem, Tydings, Nice, and Bay Bridges. These tools will be able to alert security personnel in real-time to threats made against these critical transportation assets before they occur. Many of these security measures have already been installed at the Fort McHenry Tunnel and the Francis Scott Key Bridge, including CCTV and stopped-vehicle detection. Phase 1 of the 3 phase project was completed in November 2013.
- Built a state-of-the-art Police Monitoring Facility to monitor transit-based CCTV video feeds 24/7. More than 1,200 CCTV cameras covering MTA transit stations and other facilities are networked at the MTA’s Police Monitoring Facility (PMF), which was completed in May 2011 and is staffed 24/7. Cameras monitoring transit stations are equipped with advanced analytical capabilities that issue automatic alerts if a package is left unattended on a station platform or other suspicious activities are detected.
- Increased electronic security measures at BWI. Maryland completed the Integrated Airport Security System (IASS) at BWI in May 2013. The IASS was a joint project by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA) to upgrade and add new electronic security measures at BWI facilities. Under the program BWI added 674 CCTV cameras, 870 Access Control Entrance Locks, and 39 AEDS.
- The Maryland Transit Administration has partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to lead a transit-based “If You See Something, Say Something” awareness campaign on behalf of eight other transit systems in the Baltimore and National Capital Region. MTA has been awarded approximately $12 million in federal grant funds to create printed materials and radio and television advertisements that inform transit riders where to report suspicious or dangerous activities. The MTA will sustain the public awareness campaign throughout the region at least until 2014.
- Developing a comprehensive radar-based surveillance system of the Chesapeake Bay. MLEIN is designed to provide the Natural Resources Police (NRP) with radar and CCTV coverage of Maryland’s waterways to manage security and natural resource conservation and provide shared situational awareness with state and federal partners. The Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network (MLEIN) is one of the largest maritime surveillance systems in the US and when complete will include 17 sites, 11 radars and 10 cameras offering in excess of 1200 square miles of coverage. Currently, the system is based on 13 strategically placed radar towers and 8 long-range CCTV cameras that detect vessel movements within the Bay and nearby tributaries and transmit data back to NRP’s Communication Center at Sandy Point State Park, where radar and camera units are monitored 24/7, as well as with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Maryland Transportation Authority Police. MLEIN serves a dual purpose of allowing MD’s maritime law enforcement officers to be more effective in enforcing conservation law as well as responding to emergencies.
- Completed the Maryland Maritime Strategic Security Plan (MMSSP) to coordinate protective efforts of Maryland’s maritime environments. This plan is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between federal, State, local maritime law enforcement agencies and private sector partners. In August 2010, the State, Coast Guard, and Charles County produced the MMSSP to coordinate and improve responses to natural and human-caused disasters and terrorist attacks. Partners are continuing to build out and implement shared security goals. The model for the plan may be applied to other environments with similar over- and under-lapping jurisdictional issues (e.g. rail, highways, etc.).