Twenty-one new security cameras have been installed at the Port of Nome. With some final programming still underway, the cameras came online this week.
According to Port Director Joy Baker, the city received the majority of the funding through a FEMA grant aimed at enhancing security at ports that receive foreign-flagged vessels.
However, Baker says the cameras will also allow City officials to keep a closer watch on vandalism and accidents:
“Pretty much the entire facility will be on camera and observable and recording, for all uses, regardless if they’re foreign flag vessels or smaller local users.”
The cameras are located throughout the Port, harbor, and the industrial pad, with a special focus on the causeway. Specific areas will be monitored at the Utility Power Plant, which is staffed 24 hours a day, and during the summer months, the footage will also be viewed at the harbor office.
Baker says the ultimate goal is to make views available to the police department at the public safety building, although system improvements need to be made before that is possible.
The Port was already meeting Coast Guard security requirements with its existing infrastructure and staff monitoring. Still, Baker says the cameras will help keep things safe at the Port:
“Now, we’ll be able to go back and research anything that does happen at any level, so that’s a huge gain for the facility and the community.”
The City applied for a FEMA Port Security Grant for the cameras in 2015. With a 25% match from the City, total funding for the project was just under $270,000. Baker says with upgrades still to be made to the City and Utilities Information Technology departments, that amount likely won’t quite cover the total cost of the project, but the final price won’t be known until all work is complete.
Baker expects the project to be completely finished within the next week.
Image at top: Nome’s small dock harbor. Photo: Francesca Fenzi, KNOM.