SOURCE: TSA

January 30, 2008 10:30 ET

Toledo Port Workers Begin Enrollment for Federal Port Security Credential

TOLEDO, OH--(Marketwire - January 30, 2008) - Today, port workers, longshore workers, truckers and others at the Port of Toledo will begin to enroll in the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The program's goal is to ensure 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.

Nationwide, more than 1 million workers with unescorted access to secure areas will apply for TWIC by the end of 2008.

"The start of enrollment is one more step in our effort to prevent persons who are a threat from gaining access to secure areas of port facilities," said Maurine Fanguy, TWIC Program Director for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). "We appreciate the support of our partners at the Port of Baltimore for helping to make one of the world's most advanced interoperable biometric systems a reality."

Toledo is the 59th port to begin enrollment since the program began Oct. 16. Ultimately, fixed enrollment centers will be in place at 147 ports along with mobile enrollment centers at dozens of other locations as needed.

"TWIC is a critical initiative to bolster security and access control at the Port of Toledo," said Coast Guard Capt. Patrick Brennan, Sector Detroit commander. "It is vital to our multifaceted risk-based approach to maritime domain awareness, ensuring the protection of facilities and vessels within the port."

Workers at the Port of Toledo are able to pre-enroll for TWIC online at www.tsa.gov/twic or the Coast Guard's Homeport site, http://homeport.uscg.mil. Pre-enrolling 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 enrollment centers and reduces the time it takes to enroll each individual.

"The Port of Toledo is growing its domestic and international businesses annually by employing joint marketing programs involving the Port Authority and its terminal operators," said Seaport Director Warren McCrimmon. "We are the most diverse export and import port on the Great Lakes and we welcome the TWIC program as it reinforces our operators' already strong commitment to seaport security."

About the Port of Toledo: The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority is unique as its operating activities include significant seaport, airport, rail station and major financing programs. It is one of the two largest ports in Ohio, which combined contribute $6.5 billion to Ohio's economy annually.