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NJ Office of Emergency Management
ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION OF "OPERATION
New Jersey First Responders Return Home After
(TRENTON) – Acting Governor Richard J. Codey today announced the successful conclusion of Operation LEAD in New Orleans, with the return today and tomorrow of New Jersey police officers and other personnel from their base in Louisiana.
The mission was made under the provisions of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) mutual aid agreement between the states of New Jersey and Louisiana. "Operation LEAD" is ending because Louisiana's leaders have determined that local agencies are now in a position to resume their operations in New Orleans and the surrounding areas.
"In the time of greatest need, New Jersey helped New Orleans turn the corner," Codey said "When I visited that devastated city, New Orleans' leaders offered great praise for the high level of training and skill shown by New Jersey's law enforcement officers. Colonel Fuentes, Lieutenant Colonel Malast and Major Hunt are to be commended for putting together a such a world-class, well-organized deployment."
Operation LEAD, short for "Louisiana Emergency Assistance Deployment," began September 3 and effectively ends this week. The Operation was organized and directed by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. More than 600 personnel from across New Jersey, including local and state law enforcement officers, water rescue technicians, hazmat personnel, decontamination personnel, medical support personnel and others, responded.
The Operation included the creation of "Camp New Jersey," essentially a self-contained police department that led the law enforcement and other emergency services for New Orleans' Second Police District and the surrounding region. No other state helped the City of New Orleans in this manner.
"New Jersey's first responders have made a significant impact in Louisiana," said Attorney General Peter C. Harvey. "It's a testament to their training and character that they have been able to help the state and its citizens, and we are grateful for their courage, selflessness and dedication. We extend them our thanks and we are grateful for their safe return."
Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of New Jersey State Police and Director of the State Office of Emergency Management, said, "This was an enormous mission with operations ranging from search and rescue, to patrols of the city streets, to emergency medical services. We distributed water and meals ready to eat, to meet peoples' basic needs. Many times, a person's first point of contact turned out to be a New Jersey law enforcement officer."
The main activities of Operation LEAD fell into the following categories:
Beginning September 3 and ending this week, the members of Operation LEAD have:
Operation LEAD included the following deployments of New Jersey personnel:
Photos taken in and around New Orleans by New Jersey's Operation LEAD members can be found online at http://www.njsp.org/lead/index.html.
All deployments were made under the provisions of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), by which states help each other in times of crisis.
To make these deployments possible the State Office of Emergency Management, led by Colonel Fuentes, Lieutenant Colonel William Malast, and Major John Hunt, worked with groups representing the Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the State Fire Marshall, all 21 county offices of emergency management, all 21 county prosecutors and a host of other entities.
It is anticipated that the states affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita will need further support in the coming months. Those requests would be made through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, and the response organized the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
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