Create a Website Account - Manage notification subscriptions, save form progress and more.
By Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves Port Director & CEO
The Port of Galveston Police Department is crucial in safeguarding public safety and security within the expansive 840-acre port. Led by Chief Kenneth Brown, a seasoned law enforcement professional with more than 25 years of experience, the department consists of 34 sworn officers, 6 telecommunicators, and 2 civilian office staff.
Considering the port’s activity as a top-ranked cargo and cruise port, our police officers are presented with unique challenges. Chief Brown expertly oversees the department's round-the-clock operation, employing four shifts of law enforcement officers and dispatchers.
Port officers are specially trained to navigate the distinct intricacies of port-related situations. They collaborate closely with local, state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Galveston County Sheriff's Department, and city of Galveston police, fire and emergency medical services. This collaborative effort ensures a comprehensive approach to public safety and security.
The department is involved in all aspects of daily port operations. From monitoring and facilitating entry into secured areas to engaging with ship captains to review regulations and security directives, the officers actively contribute to smooth cargo operations. They surveil port facilities for potential safety hazards, breaches of security, and environmental risks.
Officers also play an important role in safety and security for the more than 1 million cruise passengers who embark each year from North America's fourth busiest cruise port. Beyond terminal security services contracted by the cruise lines, port police enforce the law, address passenger concerns, and facilitate traffic flow.
Thanks to our port police, our port-operated cruise parking facilities are the safest on the island. They patrol the lots and monitor security cameras around the clock.
In 2022, the Port of Galveston Police Department demonstrated remarkable dedication, responding to 39,884 calls for service, processing 1,019 police reports, and handling 43 vehicle accidents. Additionally, they collected more than 670 pieces of evidence and issued 393 traffic citations.
We also have a presence on the water. Specially trained Marine Division officers operate a state-of-the-art, 31-foot police boat with cutting-edge navigational and rescue equipment. They patrol the waterways, oversee vessel escorts, and actively monitor and mitigate potential threats or hazards. The division also plays a vital role in search and rescue missions, swiftly responding to emergencies and calls from distressed vessels.
In 2021, the Port of Galveston Police Department earned accreditation through the Law Enforcement Best Practices program established by the Texas Police Chiefs Association. This accreditation places the department among Texas's top-tier law enforcement agencies, demonstrating its commitment to excellence.
The Port of Galveston Police Department is vital in keeping the port, its workers and its guests safe and secure. Their dedicated work often goes unnoticed as they ensure a thriving maritime hub. Go blue!