Office of the Governor|
increased transit security measures
Governor signs E.O. deploying
National Guard at region's bridges, tunnels, railways
Telephone hotline activated to report suspicious activity
(Newark) – Governor James E. McGreevey announced today a series of increased measures being taken to enhance security on NJ TRANSIT railways. The Governor also signed an Executive Order to deploy additional New Jersey National Guardsmen at bridges, tunnels, airports, ports, nuclear power plants and railways throughout the region last night.
"Americans will not be locked in our houses by threats of terror, nor will we be stopped by fear," said Governor James E. McGreevey. "Now more than ever, commuters and visitors in the Tri-State area must know that our trains will remain safe, and that we are implementing increased security measures for our region’s mass transportation network. We must continue to live our daily life, to go to work and to send our kids to school. And, we must continue to ride our trains and buses."
The Governor announced the new measures at Newark Penn Station, where he met with transportation and law enforcement officials aboard NJ TRANSIT’s Police Mobile Command Vehicle, which is a 40-foot transit bus converted into a mobile response unit for the NJ Transit Police Department. The vehicle contains outside phone lines, a fax machine, portable computers and printers, and an on-board radio system with several frequency bands to communicate with other law enforcement agencies, as well as other regional transit agencies.
Participating in the press conference were New Jersey Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere, Director of the New Jersey Office of Counter-Terrorism Sidney J. Caspersen, NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington and NJ TRANSIT Police Chief Joseph C. Bober.
The Governor announced the following:
- NJ TRANSIT’s already increased unformed and plainclothes police train patrols will now be supplemented by uniformed New Jersey State Police officers.
- NJ TRANSIT will double the number of NJ TRANSIT K-9 units from two to four – which will be used to detect explosive devices. Two units are already deployed; two units now in training will be deployed by late-May.
- NJ TRANSIT is purchasing belt clip-on radiation detectors to ensure that all of its regional police commands throughout the state are equipped with the devices. All of the detectors will arrive by the end of next week.
- The NJ TRANSIT Police Department has activated a hotline to accept anonymous calls of suspicious activity on NJ TRANSIT equipment or property (1-888-TIPSNJT).
"NJ Transit is part of our state's critical infrastructure. These enhanced security measures by NJ Transit are yet additional tools to add to our homeland security preparedness efforts," said Director Caspersen.
“NJ TRANSIT is a critical lifeline for New Jersey, carrying more than 400,000 people a day aboard trains and buses,” said Lettiere said. “It is incumbent on us to take all necessary and reasonable precautions to assure they travel safely and to keep our rail and buses systems operating efficiently. We will maintain the same vigilance over our highways, ports and general aviation airports. ”
To demonstrate his confidence in the new security measures being implemented, the Governor rode a NJ TRANSIT train between Princeton Junction and Penn Station New York where he met with New York Governor George E. Pataki and Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland to discuss regional transportation security.
Since the nation’s alert level was raised to orange Monday night, NJ TRANSIT has:
- Significantly increased the number of its uniformed and plainclothes police officers at stations, on board trains and in road patrol units. This includes up to 8 uniformed or plainclothes patrol teams (2 officers per team) riding trains at any given time during the day. NJ TRANSIT Police are protecting passenger facilities, maintenance facilities and infrastructure.
- The NJ TRANSIT Police Department has established vehicular checkpoints at several stations and terminals, particularly where deliveries are accepted.
- NJ TRANSIT Police are alternating patrolling methods and locations on a daily basis.
“NJ TRANSIT will take all necessary steps – in a coordinated effort with multiple law enforcement jurisdictions and regional transit agencies – to protect our passengers, employees, equipment and infrastructure,“ said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director George D. Warrington. “I would like to thank Governor McGreevey for his leadership and support as we coordinate activities among law enforcement agencies to provide the highest level of safety and comfort for our riders.”
A 24-hour hotline has been established with the New Jersey State Police and the FBI, providing immediate access to NJ TRANSIT Police. The Corporation is also working in a coordinated effort with other regional transit agencies including Amtrak, MTA, Metro-North and PATH.
Additionally, NJ TRANSIT’s workforce of 10,000 employees is receiving anti-terror training, serving as another set of eyes and ears for the law enforcement community. Employees are being asked to be more vigilant and report suspicious activity to the police on-board trains, buses and light rail vehicles, at passenger facilities, at maintenance and crew facilities and along its railroad rights-of-way.
Since September 11, NJ TRANSIT has hired more than 40 police officers – increasing the number of officers on the system to 188 – and redeployed them to strategic locations. NJ TRANSIT Police and operations personnel also work proactively with first responders around the state, coordinating 10 to 15 emergency drills per year, providing police and other first responders with hands-on training on bus, rail and light rail equipment.
Below is a copy of the Executive Order signed by the Governor:
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO.
WHEREAS, it appears imminent that the United States will become engaged in an armed conflict with the county of Iraq; and
WHEREAS, as a result, the Federal Department of Homeland Security has begun “Operation Liberty Shield,” to increase security and readiness in the United States, and have asked the states to cooperate in this effort; and
WHEREAS, the United States Department of Homeland Security has raised the national terror threat level to “high alert; signaling a high risk of a terrorist attack; and
WHEREAS, since September 11th 2001,New Jersey law enforcement, National Guard and emergency management personnel have been engaged in an ongoing cooperative effort to vigilantly protect our State and its citizens from terrorism, with an appropriate emphasis on our State’s critical transportation systems and infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, the National Guard’s assistance is currently desirable to work in a cooperative operation with the New Jersey State Police, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as well as other law enforcement agencies to secure key locations, such as New Jersey’s airports, bridges and tunnels, from potential terrorism;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JAMES E. McGREEVEY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:
- In accordance with New Jersey Statutes 38A:2-1, et seq., I hereby authorize the Adjutant General of the New Jersey National Guard to order to active duty all such members of the New Jersey National Guard that, in his judgment, are necessary to protect airports, tunnels and bridges and to provide aid to any other locality where there is a threat or danger to the public health, safety and welfare. He may authorize the employment of any supporting vehicles, equipment, communications or supplies as may be necessary to support the members so ordered.
- This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
GIVEN, under my hand and seal this 19th day of March, in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Two, and of the Independence of the United States, the Two Hundred and Twenty-Seventh.
James E. McGreevey Governor
Michael R. DeCotiis
Chief Counsel to the Governor