Port security grant goes to Jackson County

PASCAGOULA, MS (AP) - Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd says a $358,485 federal port security grant will provide new training and new equipment to monitor and protect critical business hear the Pascagoula port.

Byrd tells The Mississippi Press that he applied for the grant because deputies patrol the port, Chevron, Mississippi Phosphate and Ingalls Shipyard.

The grant is part of a $200 million program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Byrd said that the department would be able to pay for side-scan sonar apparatus and a K-9 unit for bomb-sniffing purposes.

Byrd says the side-scan sonar will significantly increase the marine division's capabilities, such as searching waters to locate drowning victims.

He says the device can also scan the bottom of boats for explosive device or contraband.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)