Juneau cruise season to begin with new dock restrictions

Posted: Sunday, April 28, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Juneau residents will be able to walk along downtown docks this summer with some limits, according to city and U.S. Coast Guard officials.

The Coast Guard has been working with Southeast communities to update port security plans following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. For the end of the cruise season last year, Juneau officials under Coast Guard direction put up barricades to keep vehicles and pedestrians off downtown wharves. Public access was restored at the end of the cruise ship season.

With the first cruise ship due Tuesday, the city's plan is nearly finished, said port director Joe Graham.

The Coast Guard's goal this summer is to balance security with the needs of local residents, said Lt. Cmdr. Joe Paitl. People should be able to walk along the dock, he said.

''There will be increased security right at the ship,'' he said. ''Pedestrians will have full access to the pier provided we don't have any specific threats. There will be a security presence. If a pedestrian walks too closely to an entry way on the cruise ship, they'll certainly be questioned.''

Graham has 30 days to submit Juneau's final plan to the Coast Guard. He's not sure whether the city will hire guards to patrol wharves, he said.

''I suspect we will have to hire people,'' he said. ''We haven't gotten the final plan approved. We will have regular staff patrolling. If we need additional patrols, we may institute that as well.''

People also might notice more of a Coast Guard presence downtown, Paitl said, but he would not provide details.

At Princess Cruises' dock south of city docks, the security plan calls for restricting access to authorized crew members, passengers and contractors, said Kirby Day, director of shoreside operations for Princess Cruises and Tours.

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