Mock bomb drill held at Port of Brownsville
Wed, 15 Dec 2010 04:53:15 GMT —
It was not the lovable robot character Wally that wondered the streets at the Port of Brownsville, but a robot used by the Brownsville Police Department bomb squad.
The robot is used to disarm explosives like the one found on a train Tuesday morning at the port, but not to worry, it was just a drill.
Manuel Ortiz, spokesperson for the Port of Brownsville said, "The purpose of the drills of today are to ensure the security of the community and also to protect commerce and these are actually required by the federal government."
Over 100 members of federal, state and local authorities participated in the drills which were made possible through a grant awarded to the port.
"We received over $10 million in security grant funds, Ortiz said. It's going to give us an opportunity to get all the agencies together, to get a round table to really discuss what happened - whether all the channels of communication were properly working, whether all the different processes that we have in place to react to an act of terrorism are working the way that they should be.
The Valley Maritime Consortium was the first of its kind.
The drills included exercises on how to handle things like bombs on trains, hazardous material spills and explosions.
But, had these scenarios been the real deal, Port of Brownsville directors said they TMre confident they would've been prepared.
"We have the presence of a lot of security agencies already, Ortiz said. U.S Customs, the U.S. Coastguard, Port of Brownsville Police Department is here, (and) the Brownsville Fire Department is actually located very close to us - so we feel very confident in the security we have in place."