Frequently Asked Questions

In March 2006, Executive Order No. 5 created the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) as a cabinet-level agency within state government. The executive order defined the office’s mission as the agency responsible “to administer, coordinate, lead, and supervise New Jersey’s counterterrorism and preparedness efforts.”  Further, the executive order charged OHSP with coordinating “the emergency response efforts across all levels of government, law enforcement, emergency management, nonprofit organizations, other jurisdictions, and the private sector, to protect the people of New Jersey.

To meet the goals outlined in the executive order, OHSP identified six core functions:

Grants - Oversees and distributes discretionary state and federal homeland security preparedness funds solely on basis of risk (i.e., threat, vulnerability and consequence).

Protecting Critical Infrastructure - Works with private industry that controls 85 to 90 percent of New Jersey's critical facilities to protect those facilities against potential terrorism as well as all types of "all hazards" incidents.

Investigations - Conducts investigations related to potential terrorist activities, jointly with NJ State Police, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Forces and other entities.

Intelligence Gathering and Sharing - Collects intelligence affecting New Jersey, as wellas analyzing it and ensuring that it is shared with all the proper public agencies and private sector groups.

Training - Conducts training of law enforcement personnel and other individuals involved with homeland security and emergency preparedness responsibilities.

Clearinghouse for Legislation - Reviews all state legislation regarding counter-terrorism and preparedness issues and makes recommendations to the Governor's Office.

The OHSP Director is Chris Rodriguez. Click here for more information about Director Rodriguez.

OHSP is divided into two divisions: Operations and Preparedness.

The Division of Preparedness consists of the following bureaus:

Critical Infrastructure Protection, Grants Management, Planning and Training.

The Division of Intelligence consists of the following bureaus:
Operations, Analysis, and Collection and Dissemination.

The executive order that created the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) made the Task Force part of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. Further, the executive order calls for the Director of OHSP the Chair of the Task Force. More information about the Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force can be found here.

Per Executive Order No. 5, the Office of Counter-Terrorism shall be a part of OHSP. The responsibilities for counter-terrorism and intelligence, including intelligence gathering, analysis, and sharing; training of law enforcement and other individuals tasked with homeland security and emergency preparedness responsibilities; and infrastructure protection are contained in OHSP's Operations Division.

OHSP works in conjunction with multiple partners in state and local government and the education and law enforcement communities. In 2006, in response to the school shootings in Pennsylvania, the NJ K-12 School Security Task Force was created with OHSP appointed as the Co-Chair of the Task Force. Working with the NJ Commissioner of Education and the NJ State Attorney General, the Task Force issued several recommendations to ensure the safety and security at New Jersey's K-12 schools. More information about the K-12 School Security Task Force, along with a copy of its final report and recommendations can be found here.

Additionally, following the horrific events which took place on the campus of Virginia Tech University in 2007, the NJ Campus Security Task Force was created with OHSP appointed as Co-Chair. Working with the Executive Director of the NJ Commission on Higher Education, the Task Force issued several recommendations to improve the security at the state's colleges and universities. More information about the Campus Security Task Force, along with a copy of its final report and recommendations can be found here.

OHSP partners with various federal, state and local homeland security, law enforcement and emergency management agencies. In particular, OHSP works closely with the new Jersey State Police and the State Office of Emergency Management (OEM), which is housed in the Division of State Police. While OHSP has responsibility for overseeing statewide emergency response coordination, the OEM continues as the state’s primary operational agency in terms of managing the consequences of emergencies and the post-event response to emergencies. In addition, OHSP maintains a close working relationship with the Newark and Philadelphia FBI Offices, the NJ Attorney General’s Office as well as the County Prosecutor’s Office in each of the state’s 21 counties.

OHSP relies on the public to report suspicious activity to law enforcement. OHSP operates the state's toll-free and 24-hour terrorism tip line, which is staffed by trained law enforcement professionals.

You may report suspicious activity by calling 1-866-4SAFE-NJ, or by dialing 2-1-1. You may also report suspicious activity by email at: tips@njhomelandsecurity.gov. The tip line is staffed by trained law enforcement professionals. To report suspicious activity click here.

OHSP operates under the premise that a well-prepared citizenry is an integral part of New Jersey's homeland security and emergency preparedness strategy. Accordingly, OHSP takes proactive measures to ensure New Jersey residents receive real-time and reliable information concerning any type of emergency. Public awareness is an important part of OHSP's daily work. Through multiple modes of media, advertising and public events, OHSP remains committed to ensuring state residents are well-informed and well-prepared. More information about public awareness can be found here.

Additionally, OHSP relies on the public to report suspicious activity to law enforcement. OHSP operates the state's toll-free and 24-hour terrorism tip line, 1-866-4SAFE-NJ, or email tips@njhomelandsecurity.gov. The tip line is staffed by trained law enforcement professionals. All information received from the public is kept confidential. To report suspicious activity click here.

OHSP is responsible for New Jersey’ homeland security and emergency preparedness issues, while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security handles matters facing the entire United States. OHSP is part of New Jersey’s state government while the U.S. DHS is part of the federal government.  More information about the U.S. Department of Homeland Security can be found here.

No, all immigration matters are handled by the US Department of Homeland Security. More information about immigration matters can be found here.

No, passports are handled by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. More information about passports can be found here.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), an agency of the federal government, is responsible for airport security. More information about the TSA can be found here.