The Department of Homeland Security has announced that the awarding of more than $190 million in grants to protect ports, transit and intercity bus systems across the United States. The results were a mixed bag for San Diego.

Officials from the Unified Port of San Diego said they were disappointed to learn that the port will get slightly less than $140,000, a sizable reduction from the nearly $6.5 million the port received last year.

The port initially requested $889,000 to purchase a mobile command van, satellite phones, laptops, equipment to detect underwater explosive devices, a port spokeswoman said. The port had also applied for funds to install a fiber optic communications system linking the port with the Coast Guard, Navy and other agencies around the bay.

Port officials asked for considerably less money this year because of a new rule requiring local agencies to match 25 percent of the federal grant.

San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System received more than $1 million in funding to bolster security for its bus and trolley systems.

William Burke, the director of transit security for MTS, said he was pleased with the grants despite getting less than he asked for.

Although Burke wasn’t able to provide the amount of the initial requested for rail security, he said the proposed projects involved adding security cameras to trolley stations at Old Town, San Diego Sate University, 12th Street and Imperial Avenue and downtown’s America Plaza.

While port and MTS officials know how much money they will receive, they won’t find out which of their needs homeland security intended the grants to cover until Friday.

Check back for more later.


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