28 Jan 2005

Security beefed up at American Samoa's main dock using airport security personnel

4:18 pm on 28 January 2005

Security personnel from American Samoa's main airport have been moved to the main sea dock to fulfill US Coast Guard security requirements.

An audit of the Port of Pago Pago conducted last year by the Coast Guard found discrepancies with security on the port.

Coast Guard Lt. Ken Kostecki said this included a lack of training on how to conduct searches of vehicles, checking for IDs and other procedures.

The port was also required to made adjustments for the arrival of cruise ships.

Port Director Fofo Tony Tuitele said that in response to Coast Guard requirements since September 11, 2001, they have had to beef up security at the main dock.

He said airport security personnel, have now been detailed to the port.

Airport police are trained and certified by federal agencies and also go through the Department of Public Safety Academy.

Fofo said that the port is having to hire about 10 new employees for security and the airport fire crash unit.

The Port administration lost 13 employees due to the deployment of reservists to Iraq.