...as the summer approaches this should get really interesting!!
More security comes in a smaller package Chesterfield company gets contract to build 200 mobile units
By SHANNON MURPHY Port Heron Times Herald Published April 25th, 2006
CHESTERFIELD TWP.- Residents driving across any major border crossing, such as Port Huron's Blue Water Bridge, have firsthand experience with the latest security technology.
But smaller ports, such as seaways and ferry crossings, don't always have that technology to check cargo as it's coming into the United States.
A local company is working on changing that with its Mobile Radiation Portal Monitor, a truck equipped with panels that can sense radioactive material from passing vehicles.
Burtek, a Chesterfield Township company, has received a $20 million contract from the federal government to provide 200 mobile monitors to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency for use at smaller ports around the country.
"There are lots of small ports that don't have this technology," said Bruce Burton, president and owner of Burtek. "The small ports without much room or that can't invest the money into (the screening devices) can bring these in."
One such port is the ferry crossing between Marine City and Sombra, Ontario.
Joe Mazur, 55, of New Baltimore was waiting at the crossing Monday to work on his boat in Port Lambton, Ontario. Mazur said it's a good idea to have screening devices available for smaller ports.
"You never know what is coming into the U.S.," he said. "It needs it because it's a well-known fact that if you want to bring something (harmful) into the country, you just go around the big entries (such as the bridges)."
This isn't Burtek's first government contract. The company also builds air-defense radars and fighting vehicles to be used overseas.
The mobile-portal monitors should be ready to be shipped out in the next six to eight months, company officials said. Two have been sent to New Jersey.
The monitors, designed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, can be set up near a port and detect radioactive material in passing cargo. The equipment, which is highly sensitive, can detect radioactivity in steel containers and from people who are being treated with radiation for a medical condition.
Officials said more work is being done to increase the sensitivity and accuracy of the detector panels.
U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, said Burtek's contract will help Michigan's economy and provide safety for local residents.
"We're facing a different enemy," she said at a press conference Monday to introduce the vehicles. "This is an enemy who wants to smuggle stuff into our nation and create fear. This is an enemy that is failing because America is fighting back."
The federal government is planning on contracting for 200 more of the vehicles. Burtek is hoping to get that contract as well.
-------------------- "Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you." —Yoda Posts: 93 | From: Sacramento | Registered: Mar 2006
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