Bridgeport, CT – Last month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced their 2020 Port Security Grant Program.  The Port Security Grant is an annual grant which offers funding to state and local governments to invest in port infrastructure.  This investment goes towards maritime security risk management, port resiliency & recovery, and anti-terrorism infrastructure development.

This year, over $1,000,000 in grant funding went to towns and cities in Connecticut’s Fourth District, including:

  • $433,616 to the City of Bridgeport
  • $393,287 to the City of Norwalk and Norwalk Police Department
  • $135,782 to the Town of Greenwich and Greenwich Police Department
  • $48,228 to the Town of Fairfield
  • $20,650 to the City of Stamford

“As a member of Congress representing many town’s on Connecticut’s coastline, I believe the federal government has a duty to protect and enhance port security capacities,”Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) said. “Connecticut ports play a critical role in residential and commercial life here in Fairfield County. I’m grateful that the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will lend a hand to make our waterways stronger.”

Local leaders were optimistic that the grant will play a significant role in modernizing port infrastructure.  “This grant will help us improve security in the harbor by upgrading outdated technology and equipment,” said Mayor Harry Rilling of Norwalk. “As a commercial and recreational harbor, it is critically important that our police and fire departments have the resources they need to effectively do their jobs. I appreciate the support from Congressman Himes and his ongoing efforts to help Norwalk secure much-needed federal funds.”  This sentiment was echoed by Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik.  “We are very thankful to have been approved for this grant… Our new police boat will significantly improve our ability to respond to emergencies while the video infrastructure will allow us to more closely monitor our shoreline and harbor 24x7,” said Kulhawik.

Fairfield Chief of Police Christopher Lyddy was similarly enthusiastic about the federal port funding. “While we have maintained a law enforcement presence on LI Sound for the last 50 years, the Port Security Grant Program has been extremely beneficial to the Town of Fairfield in terms of cost savings and providing enhanced capabilities during day to day operations,” Lyddy said.

“The response we’re seeing from local leaders is vindicating,” Himes said. “It’s good to know we’re doing the right thing for those in our community who rely on these ports.”