By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The Port of Baltimore is touting the excellent grade it has received from the Coast Guard for the changes it’s made to security.

As Mike Schuh reports, the state has spent millions upgrading systems.

The Port of Baltimore isn’t one area.  It’s six, and all six need to be secure–access limited to who needs to be there and denied to those who don’t.

“They are targets for terrorist activity,” said Richard Scher, spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration.

The port has layers of security: three federal agencies, local and state police as well as private contractors.

Security is complicated. Anyone can just float up to your dock.

While not easy to scramble up onto a commercial dock, it’s one of the things they have to prepare for.

“Real time surveillance, security cameras, a new truck gate at our Dundalk Marine Terminal and new fencing,” Scher said.

Technology has factored in millions spent on cameras and much tighter checks on who comes and goes at the entrances and exits, and pre-screening the billions of dollars in cargo before it even gets here.

“Technology plays a large role and certainly bigger every year. In this post 9/11 world we live in, it’s getting bigger and bigger every year,” Scher said.

The cargo going through the port brings in $300 million in taxes, $3 billion in wages and nearly 15,000 jobs—it’s an asset worth protecting.

This is the sixth straight year the port has received the highest rating.

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