By Anna Ellis •
Published: 04 Sep 2023 • 10:06
24/7 Guardians of Almería's Ports: Meet the Port Police. Image: Almeria Port Authority.
In the bustling world of Almería’s ports, where cargo flows and vessels traverse the seas without rest, there’s a dedicated team ensuring that everything sails smoothly.
These unsung heroes are none other than the Port Police, the vigilant eyes of both Almería and Carboneras ports, working tirelessly around the clock, 365 days a year.
Under the leadership of Chief José Miguel López, the Port Authority of Almería boasts a robust team of 60 officers, including 12 team leaders and five diligent souls on duty at any given time.
Together, they orchestrate the seamless operation of port traffic and oversee safety, security, and access for everyone – from employees and users to passengers and goods.
But their duties extend beyond the surface. They’re the architects of modernisation, entrusted with transforming port facilities into dynamic, contemporary spaces. Their canvas includes the ground floor of the main administrative building and the adjacent areas, breathing new life into previously unused spaces.
President Rosario Soto emphasized, “This significant intervention is all about optimising space, enhancing functionality, and giving our headquarters a fresh, modern outlook in harmony with the port’s growth.”
The Port Police are more than just uniformed officers patrolling the docks. They’re champions of road safety, meticulous inspectors of operations, and enforcers of security, data protection, quality, and environmental regulations. As part of their commitment to sustainability, they diligently monitor bulk handling and implement measures to reduce particle emissions.
Chief López proudly mentions their uninterrupted work schedule, divided into three shifts, covering every nook and cranny of the port’s public domain, both in Almería and Carboneras.
They rely on a fleet of six cars and two motorcycles to reach different points within the port, ensuring that facilities, goods, and people remain safe and secure.
At the heart of their operations lies the Security Control Centre. It’s the nerve centre for all activities during service hours and requires a high level of expertise.
Surveillance is maintained through a network of over 70 cameras in Almería and a dozen in Carboneras.
Not to mention 44 anti-intrusion thermal cameras that keep a watchful eye on the restricted area and commercial dock entrances.
The Control Center even offers access to images from some lighthouses, such as San Telmo and Sabinal.
In a bid to stay ahead in modern policing, the Port Police have also mastered the art of drone operation. These high-flying machines come in handy during incidents and emergencies, providing an aerial perspective on situations.
When it comes to common incidents, Chief López highlights their role during Operation Paso del Estrecho (OPE). This annual event ensures smooth travel for those crossing to North Africa, and the Port Police collaborate closely with the APA to manage the influx of passengers and vehicles.
Their strategic planning and organizational measures guarantee that boarding and disembarking run like clockwork, preventing delays and public order disturbances.
Modern ships, advanced booking systems, and thoughtful allocation of pre-boarding areas have contributed to reducing incidents during the OPE period.
However, as in any bustling hub, minor incidents do occur, from accidents to thefts and luggage losses. The Port Police are quick to respond, ensuring passenger safety and minimizing disruptions.
Chief López commends the dedicated team of Port Police officers and emphasizes the power of police presence and informed passengers in resolving issues. With shaded areas, pedestrian zones, and a range of amenities, the APA strives to make passengers’ journeys as comfortable as possible.
The Port Police of Almería are more than law enforcement officers; they are guardians of order and safety in Almería’s bustling ports, ensuring that the city’s lifelines flow smoothly and securely, day and night.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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