Port Canaveral will receive nearly $5 million from the Department of Homeland Security with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AARA) funding for its newly formed Police Department and purchase of a new fireboat. Of the $54 million in Group 2 funds from the Port Security Grant Program, Port Canaveral received the largest single award and more than notable ports such as Jacksonville ($910,320), Port Everglades ($190,000), Savannah ($499,855), and Boston ($1,896,000) in the same category. Canaveral’s grant was second only to Group 1 recipients Long Beach ($7,779,081)/Los Angeles ($6,000,000), the nation’s largest cargo loading complex, and the Port of Oakland ($7,620,950).  

"We are excited by the grant and certainly appreciative," says J. Stanley "Stan" Payne, CEO, Port Canaveral. "It represents a national validation of our newly formed Port Police Department and recognition of the importance of protecting the Port’s assets and those of our partners, especially with one 4,000 passenger cruise ship homeported here now and three on the way, and the opening of the Seaport Canaveral Tank Farm early next year. It also reflects the hard work put in by our staff and consultants, for which I am very grateful. This is simply stunning."

The Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners established the police department in late 2008 as the culmination of a four-year initiative to enhance public safety at the world's second busiest cruise port and Central Florida's outlet to the sea.

It is the first seaport police department in Florida. The grant fully will fund current plans for staffing, a public safety complex, and a new fireboat.          

"Not only is this good news for the Port Authority, but also for our community because the federal funding will help Canaveral create more local jobs as we continue to implement public safety upgrades that help to ensure a secure environment for both commerce and recreation," says Port Commissioner Tom Goodson, chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Board. 

The Port Security Grant Program is awarding $150 million in ARRA funds to protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism; enhance maritime domain awareness and risk management capabilities; and support the implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).