A new maritime center has been unveiled in Los Angeles to train local officers on port security.
LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the center Monday during a tour.
"Keeping a port secure involves the ability to effectively prevent, or if something were to happen, to effectively respond to something of that sort," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said during a news conference Monday at the port.
The five-week program trains law enforcement personnel on various boating laws, maritime intelligence and how to spot various terrorist threats or weapons of mass destruction that could pose a threat to cargo and cruise vessels.
Classes will be held at the new $16.1 million Maritime Law Enforcement Training Center in San Pedro, which was funded by federal and state grants. The facility is equipped with classrooms, a helicopter landing pad and floating docks.
The new training facility also is expected to help relieve a backlog in training law enforcement officials on federal security protocols, Napolitano said. The first class at the Port of Los Angeles began two weeks ago with 24 officers.