The Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority will use a $242,000 homeland security grant to install a radar-based surveillance system that will allow law enforcement authorities to monitor naval traffic on Lake Erie.

A secure Internet connection will allow local, state, and federal agencies to access the radar system, which can be used for detecting boats that are behaving suspiciously or speeding.

The system, which has a range of four miles from land, will also prove useful during search and rescue missions and in reconstructing boating accidents.

Joseph Weindorf, the Erie County (PA) public safety director, says the system will address law enforcement's ability to scrutinize what takes place on the water, currently a major weakness.

Similar systems have been installed in the San Francisco, Chesapeake, and Delaware bays.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (06/17/07).