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Released: 5/9/2006 

DRPA Launches Marine Unit Patrol Vessel

The Delaware River Port Authority's Public Safety Division launched its new Marine Unit patrol vessel. The 27 foot, Safe Boat will allow officers of DRPA's Marine Unit to assist the U.S. Coast Guard and local police marine units with patrolling the waters of the Delaware River. The $200,000 patrol vessel was purchased using federal homeland security funds awarded to DRPA in 2004 through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). The total award of $2.4 million was part of $110 million in grant monies awarded to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP), and the Urban Area Security Initiative. “I would like to thank the leadership of PEMA for understanding our security needs and our role of providing safe transportation services to the people of this region, said John J. Matheussen, DRPA's Chief Executive Officer. “Thanks to their assistance, we launched the new patrol vessel today and dramatically enhanced the security profile at all of our facilities.” “On behalf of Governor Ed Rendell, I would like to congratulate the Delaware River Port Authority for purchasing this Marine Vessel which will provide enhanced safety and security to the people of this region,” said PEMA Director James R. Joseph. “Events like this are extremely important so the public is aware of the levels of cooperation between governmental agencies to keep them safe. The end result of that cooperation is this Marine Vessel, purchased by the port authority using federal Homeland Security funding, administered by PEMA supporting local assets.” DRPA's Marine Unit was launched in 2004 to assist in enhancing the physical security of DRPA's four bridges—the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross. In addition to the Marine Unit, the Authority has also formed a Bike Patrol Unit, K9 Unit and Emergency Response Team. The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation and development agency. DRPA owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross bridges, and the PATCO High Speed Line, the AmeriPort Intermodal Rail Center, the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal at Pier 1 and the RiverLink Ferry.

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