The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced that Joseph Lawless, Director of Maritime and Bridge Security, was elected Chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) Security Advisory Committee. The committee disseminates important safety information to public seaports.

AAPA is the principal voice of 160 deep-water ports in the US, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The Association promotes the essential role of ports within the global transportation system and provides leadership in port operations and development and areas such as trade, transportation, and the environment.

“Joe’s vast experience in transportation and exemplary leadership will serve AAPA well,” said Mike Leone, Massport’s Port Director. “We are proud to have him serve in a national capacity that will influence port security.”

The Security Committee analyzes and disseminates crucial information regarding new tactics and technologies for port security so that facilities and cargoes are better protected against theft, vandalism, or terrorism. The committee also focuses on sensible business and operating practices, facility design security, and security personnel training and procedures. In recent years, the committee helped shape Federal policies surrounding port security.

“Safe and secure seaports are fundamental to both protecting our borders and moving goods,” said Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).  “Joe Lawless has been an active and valued member of the AAPA Security Committee for many years, and brings superb credentials as a seaport security manager and law enforcement professional to his new role as chairman of this vital committee.”

Lawless has 29 years of law enforcement and security experience, including more than 13 years with the Massachusetts State Police Uniform Patrol, Criminal Investigations, and Executive Protection units. He came to Massport in 1993 overseeing all aspects of public safety and security for Aviation, Maritime, and Bridge operations. In this role he oversaw Logan Airport-based Troop F of the Massachusetts State Police. During this time, Troop F became the first law enforcement entity accredited by the International Association of Airport and Seaport Police for their commitment to excellence.

Lawless is Board-certified as a Homeland Security Specialist by the American College of Forensic Examiners, and also serves on several national and international panels that focus on security. He received his B.A. from Merrimack College located in Andover, MA, and an M.A. from Boston University. Lawless resides in Lynnfield, MA with his wife Marsha and three children.