SOURCE: TSA

January 24, 2008 12:08 ET

DHS Agencies Begin TWIC Enrollment in Portland, Ore.

PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwire - January 24, 2008) - On Jan. 17, port workers, longshoremen, truckers and others at the Port of Portland began to enroll in the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The program ensures that any individual who has unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels has received a thorough background check and is not a security threat.

Portland brings the number of ports enrolling in the program to 52. Eventually, 147 fixed enrollment stations will be established at ports to enroll more than one million workers.

"The start of enrollment in Portland is another step in the implementation of this important port security measure," said the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Maurine Fanguy, program director for TWIC. "TWIC is one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems and has a lot of moving pieces. We are now seeing those pieces come together."

Workers in the Portland area are able to pre-enroll for TWIC through a link on the TSA Web site (www.tsa.gov). Pre-enrolling online speeds up the process by allowing workers to provide biographic information and schedule a time to complete the application process in person. This eliminates waiting at the enrollment center and reduces the time it takes to enroll each individual.

"We have been encouraging our own employees and those who do regular business at our facilities to enroll and obtain a card early in the process," said Mark Crosby, chief public safety officer at the port. "Complying with the requirement now ensures a smooth transition down the road."

The Portland TWIC Enrollment Center is located at 7025 North Lombard St., Suite 100, Portland, Ore., 97203-3203.

More information on the TWIC program is available at www.tsa.gov and more information on port security is available at the U.S. Coast Guard's Homeport site at http://homeport.uscg.mil by clicking on the Maritime Security link.