Marine Services Bureau

Maritime Security Initiative

Maritime Security Initiative Indicators

The purpose of this program is to empower the private and corporate waterfront communities with the knowledge and ability to assist law enforcement. Anyone can assist by identifying observed criminal or terrorist behaviors, and alerting law enforcement.

Some Indicators of Possible Terrorist or Criminal Behavior:

  • Suspicious activity around any waterfront facility and/or loitering without any apparent reason to be there,
  • Obvious efforts to avoid contact with others or to draw attention to themselves.
  • Evasive answers to common boating questions,
  • Inappropriate, suspicious, or non-typical equipment or lack of proper equipment.
  • Dangerous cargo observed in unusual locations.
  • Diving operations near bridges or pipes, at unusual times or without usual support people,
  • Placing of unusual objects into the waterways near bridges or pipes,
  • Vessels that appear to be out of their normal locations. Hunters or fishermen in non-typical locations,
  • Any suspicious charter or rental. Someone asking to alter the usual route or trip a charter takes,
  • Non-typical requests; asking inappropriate questions and/or directions to non-tourist locations,
  • Inappropriate cash payments forlarge amounts, daily extension of dockage.

Call 866-4-SAFE-NJ (866-472-3365) to report tips or information about suspicious activity or behavior you think may be related to terrorism.

In an emergency, call 911 or your local police.

Contact your Regional NJSP Marine Station
New Jersey State Police
Marine Services Bureau
P.O. Box 7068
West Trenton, New Jersey 08628-0068
Phone (609) 882-2000

Your suspicions must be based solely upon the behavior and conduct of the person, and not upon the race, ethnicity, or national origin.

What You May Report:

  • Anything you report must be inadvertently observed and you must have a legitimate reason for being in the place where you make the observation.

Cardinal Rule:

  • As a civilian, you must remember, you are neither a police officer nor an agent of law enforcement. No action is to be taken by you which is inconsistent with the performance of the normal course of your duties

Under No Circumstances:

  • Board or walk onto anyone's vessel or property.
  • Conduct searches of anyone, their vessels, cars, or personal property.
  • Attempt to detain or follow suspicious people.

What Can You Do?

Contact the New Jersey State Police if you notice anything suspicious or out of the ordinary

  • DO NOT intervene, let us in law enforcement do our job, with your help.
  • DO take extensive notes, and photograph the incident if possible without drawing attention to yourself. Include in your notes everything observed, even if you think it is unimportant.

Criminal Indicators:

  • As civilians, you can often distinguish between legitimate boating or waterfront activities and suspicious or criminal activities.
  • People engaged in Criminal or Terrorist Activity will often display patterns of behavior and engage in specific actions which are intentionally designed to conceal, disguise, or divert attention away from their true criminal intentions.
  • This behavior is generally inconsistent with normal, everyday boating activity.
  • These indicators are not usually, by themselves, criminal in nature.
  • Indicators can alert people to possible criminal activity. Indicators may be looked upon as building blocks upon which investigators make determinations about possible criminal or terrorist behaviors.

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