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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Since We Are Worried About Ports

Since we are all worried about the ports deal, and it's security implications, check out today's New York Times article on driver background checks at the NY/NJ port complex.

It seems the Port Authority, according to the Times article, has been issuing SeaLink cards, which give access to the complex to drivers without subjecting them to a criminal check.

After going back and checking 9,352 active Sea Link cardholders with New Jersey licenses, the federal agency found that nearly half had possible criminal histories.

The more serious criminal cases included cardholders who had been charged with the possession of $5 million in stolen pharmaceuticals, or with trying to smuggle cocaine and Iranian carpets into the United States.

In 21 cases as of the end of February, Sea Link cardholders were wanted on outstanding warrants, many on drug-related charges.

The one good thing that seems to be coming out of this whole port issue is some new scrutiny on everyone involved, and apparently it was needed.

According to the article the Feds have been looking at a new system of screening, and tamper resistant cards for drivers, but have been held up by industry opposition.

My guess is the industry opposition isn't coming from the terminal operators, or even the port authorities, but instead from the Teamsters Union, whom most of the truckers belong to in New York and most major ports.

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Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Shocker, if the Teamsters are the ones blocking the new system of safer screening :-).

10:40 AM  
Blogger Corie said...

Well, I think we can all agree that security at our ports isn't near what it should be. So, I hope you're right that maybe this whole controversy will actually bring about some real discussion on what really needs to be done.

12:22 PM  

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