Halifax will host 175 cruise ships and about 500,000 passengers from all over the world this year. Some of the first people they’ll meet when the ships dock are members of the Halifax Regional Police Ports Unit. Members await passengers on the brow of the ship and welcome them to Halifax – a signal to visitors that safety is paramount in Halifax.
The Ports Unit, which was founded in 1998, provides policing for the Port of Halifax, including the bustling cruise industry, and the South End (Halterm) and Fairview Cove (Ceres) container terminals. In addition, the unit, together with specially trained patrol officers, helps patrol Halifax harbour, especially during special events such as this summer’s Tall Ships festival.
“We work on land and on the water to ensure safety and security in and around the Port of Halifax, which includes beat patrol, responding to calls and investigating incidents. There’s always something going on,” says Sgt. Joe Collins. “Just last week we investigated a case involving a Canadian stowaway – the first in my nine years with the Ports Unit.”
Sgt. Collins and his colleagues work closely with recreational and commercial users of the Port and the Harbour, including the Halifax Marine Advisory Committee, which includes representatives of multiple organizations that use Halifax Harbour, and the Halifax Port Security Committee, which is a smaller group specifically concerned with security issues particularly at the container terminals.
He is quick to commend the work of his colleagues and all partners in ensuring the safety and security of the Port of Halifax as well as recreational users of Halifax Harbour, most of whom are long-time, repeat users who share a commitment to ensuring the water can be enjoyed safely by all – an important message during Safe Boating Awareness Week, May 20 – 26.
This Safe Boating Awareness Week, HRP encourages you to visit the Canadian Safe Boating Council website and review their many resources to help keep you and others safe on the water.