Canaveral sign

Canaveral sign (July 30, 2014)

The Canaveral Port Authority has announced 61 layoffs in its police and public safety operations, starting on Sept. 30 through mid-October.

The layoffs are part of a proposed transition of the port police functions to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, according to an email from Rosalind Harvey, senior director of communications and community affairs. The sheriff has said the laid off people could apply for positions with his office.

If that transition gets final approval, it will occur on Oct. 1.

There’s a lot going on at the port. It just revealed that it has been investigating some of its own employees for alleged cash-skimming. Four employees were fired and the probe was turned over to state authorities recently.

In June, Port Canaveral announced a major expansion of its cargo operations, which is supposed to generate about 2,000 new direct and indirect jobs.

But that would be from a new contract signed in June with a private company, United Arab Emirates-based Gulftainer. The Gulftainer agreement is subject of some controvery, with a U.S. Congressman calling for more review of security issues.

The 35-year, $100 million-dollar deal would mark the first time a company owned by a Middle East-based corporation ran a port terminal operation in the U.S.