The Department of Homeland Security has awarded Duxbury and Plymouth a joint 2012 Port Security Grant of $185,794 that will be used for an area surveillance system.
Jake Emerson, executive officer in the Duxbury Harbormaster’s department, applied for the grant with Plymout
Harbormaster Chad Hunter.
Emerson said the grant will be used to fund an internet-based surveillance system that stretches from Duxbury Bay to Plymouth Harbor and includes the area around the Pilgrim nuclear power plant.
“The cameras will be strategically placed to put out a grid to cover most of the bay,” said Emerson. “Considering there are so many launch sites between Duxbury and Plymouth, we hope that this will serve as a deterrent.”
He envisions three to four surveillance cameras placed at the town pier area and other locations around Duxbury Bay, perhaps at Howland’s Landing, in order to give maritime officials as much of a view of the water as possible from Duxbury to Plymouth.
The grant will pay for cameras, installation and a server. The money will be split evenly between the two towns.
The system will allow the Plymouth and Duxbury Harbormasters‘ departments as well as other agencies, such as the Coast Guard and state police, the ability to view the area from any internet device, said Emerson.
“The Coast Guard can request access to be able to see what they need to see,” he said, adding that since Duxbury and Plymouth are at the southern-most point of the Coast Guard’s Sector Boston, the new observation system on the water could offer immediate images to help during an emergency.
The surveillance system will probably not be operational until sometime next year. Emerson hopes it will be in place before next summer but the grant requires a $46,000 match, which will also be split between Duxbury and Plymouth.
Emerson said he will ask for Duxbury’s share at the March annual town meeting. It is possible that the town can pay for its match through in-kind services, such as the time and cost of managing the grant, but Emerson said he wasn’t sure of these requirements so he will request the full amount of approximately $23,000. Any funding not used will be returned to the town.
Once the funding is in place, the towns will look into vendors and various systems and then send the project out to bid, Emerson said.
This is the third year Duxbury has applied for a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The town received a similar grant in 2010 for approximately $183,000, which allowed the harbormaster’s department to purchase the 25-foot fast response “safe boat.”
The port security system has nothing to do with the surveillance cameras installed this year at the entrances to the Duxbury beach parking lot.