NEWS

Port of Houston Security District Could Be National Model

Matthew Harwood

The Houston Chronicle reports that the Port of Houston is close to creating its own free market security district that could be a model for the rest of the country.

Yesterday, Governor Rick Perry signed legislation allowing the creation of the Ship Channel Security District, a public-private partnership to create a system-wide, layered security approach to better protect Houston's ports. Perry noted that 40 percent of the United States' petrochemical capacity is located in the Houston region.

The paper reports:

The district is designed to serve as a mechanism for Harris County, the Port of Houston Authority and others in the public and private sectors to share the local cost of security grants, according to port officials. It also will help with the operation and maintenance of new security projects, they said.

About $31 million in security grants has been acquired to benefit public and private groups in and around the port in recent years, said Jim Edmonds, chairman of the Port of Houston Authority.

Chad Sweet, chief of staff for Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, praised the security district idea, saying the free-market solution could be a national model.

For more information, check out Governor Rick Perry's press release announcing his signing of the bill creating the Ship Channel Security District. For more on the Port of Houston, check out their website here.

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