Senator involved in security breach at Port Authority
A security breach occurred at Port Authority of Guam this morning, and you might be surprised to hear who was at the center of the controversy. As the committee chair on transportation, which has oversight of the Port Authority, Senator Tom Ada is intimately familiar with operations there and the importance of security.
Matter of fact in 2012 he conducted an oversight over the agency on that very issue. "Security of the port begins with ensuring that we have people who have been properly cleared and at least the threat of disruption at that port with respect to the personnel working down there is minimized," he said at the time.
Ironically Thursday morning a security breach occurred at the port, resulting in a lockdown of the yard. Both Port Police chief Doris Aguero and port general manager Joanne Brown confirm the incident occurred around 9am. According to Brown, Customs officers had driven Senator Ada into the yard without getting proper clearance. Brown says while she does not have a problem with Senator Ada visiting the port, proper clearance is required for everyone.
She says the port has to meet maritime security requirements for the yard which are not only in place for local protections but for federal requirements. The US Coast Guard regulates these requirements and were informed of the situation. She says the matter is also of serious nature because the port could be at fault for financial penalties or citations for these types of violations.
She adds the port security officer who authorized access to the yard without proper clearance has since resigned. Brown has since requested for Guam Customs to conduct an investigation on the customs officers involved as well.
In response, Senator Ada tells KUAM News he was invited by customs and quarantine to observe the port's new x-ray machines used for containers. Ada says because it was an impromptu visit, he forgot his wallet and ID. He adds he did not believe he breached the port's security because he was accompanied by two law enforcement officers in an official vehicle.
He says any concerns about security should be taken seriously adding the port officers were just doing their job.