Jul 12, 2011 — “In a way there are some things that have been dismantled,” said Captain Paul Kalapodas, a maritime expert.
The new rules for TWIC requirements. Captain Paul Kalapodas appeared on WTVJ
Some port workers in South Florida are upset over a bill that went into effect this week, which they say dismantles a security system that stops potential terrorism.
The new Florida law now removes the state requirement for a criminal history screening for workers including those driving container trucks. It also removes the requirement for annual unannounced inspections by the state, and it repeals the statewide minimum security standards and prohibits ports from charging an extra fee to run a criminal background check.
“The federal government has regulations that we are going to comply with,” Gov. Rick Scott told NBC Miami when asked about the new law. “We are going to do a very good job at security. The federal government does a good job, and it’s redundant to do the same at the state level.”
The key to the federal port security system is a card —called a TWIC—for transportation worker identification credential. It requires a fingerprinted background check and supporters of the changes say the federal card keeps ports secure.