LOS ANGELES — The Port of Los Angeles announced new security measures Friday following a breach in which a man fleeing police in a stolen car got onto a dock last week, climbed a huge crane and finally plunged to his death on a ship below.
Entrances to the terminal where the breach occurred now have “stringent modifications” including more security personnel and road barriers, and the port is also conducting a complete review of security at all terminals, officials said.
On Aug. 16, the driver of an SUV stolen from a San Bernardino dealership was pursued by police across Southern California and finally drove through an entrance to the port’s West Basin Container Terminal.
He sped around the terminal, where people were working, and onto a dock. He then jumped out of the vehicle and raced up stairs to the top of a crane. The man behaved strangely, including disrobing, as police tried for hours to find a way to get him to come down. He eventually jumped or fell.
On Friday, security personnel manned gates at the roads entering the terminal, opening and closing them to traffic.
Gene Seroka, the port’s executive director, said the port is learning from that incident and he termed immediate steps that were taken as “interim.” He also said cost was not a concern.
“There is nothing more important than safety of the nation’s largest container port and the great workers that we have here in the port of Los Angeles,” Seroka told a press conference.
Mark Mendoza, an official of a port labor union, said workers were ready to engage the intruder but didn’t know whether he might have a weapon.
“We don’t want any problems like this to happen again in the future,” he said.
City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the area, said he welcomed the rapid move to address the vulnerability exposed by the incident. He said any security breaches at the port complex are a threat to the local and national economy.
The port has 27 cargo and passenger terminals within 7,500 acres (3,035 hectares) of land and water along 43 miles of waterfront.