Executive Director - National Maritime Law Enforcement Academy
with over 30 years of law enforcement, intelligence, operations, prevention planning, response readiness and organizational leadership experience in the port security domain, Mark DuPont brings a wealth of knowledge, demonstrated skill and nationally recognized accomplishments. Mark’s expertise, unique understanding, and federal, state and local initiatives in the maritime homeland security arena prompted his creation of Merrick Maritime Security, Inc. and were the basis for his selection as the National Director of the Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program established by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA.)
Prior to leading this national initiative and after retiring from the United States Coast Guard, Mark DuPont was the statewide Chief Intelligence and Domestic Security Officer for the state of Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Division of Law Enforcement, the largest agency of its type in the world, with over 700 sworn officers, 500 vessels, and 12 aircraft patrolling, protecting and preventing threats to the nation’s largest marine economic environment containing the cruise ship capital of the world, the recreational fishing capital of the world, 14 deep water ports, and 1200 miles of transnational coast line. In that position, he has provided essential guidance in the creation and training of Waterborne Response Teams throughout the state’s seven Regional Domestic Security Task Forces, a protocol and curriculum that has been adopted nationally by the United States Coast Guard, FEMA, and NASBLA.
Additionally, Mr. DuPont led the agency, the state and the nation in developing and implementing a maritime Preventative Radiological & Nuclear Detection (PRND) enterprise model in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office. He remains engaged with FWC as a reservist, assisting in executing the Intelligence Plan that he authored, and in building the “Intelligence Pyramid” for the state and its partners throughout the national law enforcement community.
Prior to his position with the State of Florida, Chief Warrant Officer DuPont helped create, author, develop and enhance port security practices in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. His concept of standardized training and protocols in maritime law enforcement, planning, exercise and emergency response spread from the First Coast Guard District where CWO DuPont was assigned, throughout the country and to Miami where he was later assigned as a Port Security Specialist. These initiatives became foundational elements of Port Security, in the Commandant’s Response Boat Tactics, Techniques and Procedures Manual, and in policies for ship boardings, high value asset escorts, shoreside patrols of critical infrastructure and sea marshalling tactics and procedures.
The importance of the new initiative that Mark is leading with NASBLA is best stated in a quote from VADM Sally Brice-O’Hara, the former US Coast Guard Vice Commandant, “the (BOAT) Program has created a comprehensive standard for training and typing in support of all hazards response. Through collective partnerships of federal, state, county, and local first responders, the BOAT Program will unify national resources and enhance the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's capabilities in the safety and security of our citizens within our maritime domain."
He has trained thousands of marine units and officers throughout the country in Tactical Boat Operations, High Value Asset Protection, Boarding Procedures, Bomb Awareness, Anti-Terrorism Force Protection, Investigative and Interview Techniques, and Use of Force. He has trained and counseled hundreds of maritime stakeholders in multi-agency interoperability, intelligence collection, threat mitigation, prevention and preparedness, response and emergency management, to name but a few of his port security areas of expertise.
These and many more contributions have been recognized over the last few years with a President’s Award from the National Association of Boating Law Administrators, a Commandant’s Letter of Commendation, a Meritorious Service Medal with the Operational Distinguishing Device, a Commendation Medal, two Achievement Medals with Operational Distinguishing Device, Three Meritorious Team Medals with the Operational Distinguishing Device, the 9-11 Medal, and countless letters of appreciation and commendation from local, state and federal partners