Morris County Sheriff candidate Steven Olimpio is billing himself as a New Jersey Homeland Security Commissioner, but an official with substantial knowledge of state homeland security issues says the position does not exist and that’s he’s never heard of Olimpio, who is challenging six-term incumbent Edward Rochford in the Republican primary. Olimpio has listed his post as a Homeland Security Commissioner in his campaign literature and on his website.
The only official governing body related to Homeland Security at the state level is the Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force. Olimpio, the Paterson PBA president, is not on this task force, which was established after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and includes members of the governor’s cabinet and state officials with direct emergency management, counterterrorism and infrastructure protection responsibilities. Olimpio is not a member of either of the two official committees that advise the governor and the state Director of Homeland Security: the Infrastructure Advisory Council (IAC) and the Private Sector Advisory Committee (PSAC).
It’s possible that Olimpio works with the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), which is comprised of emergency management and law enforcement officials from seven North Jersey counties designated as high risk by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – he has not responded to e-mails seeking clarification of his resume – but calling himself a “Homeland Security Commissioner” seems to be a wide stretch of the truth. Olimpio’s name does not appear in any of the extensive plans posted online by the Passaic County Office of Emergency Management.
In an interview with a magazine called NJ Corrections Now, Olimpio said: “As a NJ Homeland Security Commissioner, I am fully aware our citizens want to be involved in making this county a safer one.”