TRENTON – Governor Chris Christie and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that they have directed their state’s respective Homeland Security Advisors and State Police Superintendents to immediately lead a bi-state review of current safety and security procedures. In light of the heightening of terrorist activity and increased tensions between America and terrorist networks, Governors Cuomo and Christie said they are “acting immediately” with steps to ensure that proper, effective, and coordinated protocols are in place and all appropriate law enforcement entities are proactively prepared for potential threats to the New York-New Jersey region.
The states will coordinate with the United States Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, the FBI, the New York Police Department, and the Port Authority.
The review follows a meeting with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, local, state and federal security and law enforcement officials convened by the governors last week, and will demand and encourage engagement and cooperation with top officials from local, state and federal law enforcement and public safety offices to continue to keep the region’s public safety paramount.
The state Homeland Security and State Police leaders are as follows: Col. Rick Fuentes, New Jersey Superintendent of State Police; Christopher Rodriguez, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness; Joseph D’Amico, New York Superintendent of State Police; Jerome Hauer, Commissioner of the New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
The governors will convene a meeting to review initial recommendations in 10 days. In 30 days, the group will again report directly back to both governors with any and all further findings and recommendations.
“Given the reality of new and growing threats from overseas, we are going to do everything we can as leaders of this region to ensure that we are working together, prepared, and can effectively respond as needed to protect our people, our critical infrastructure, and our hubs of commerce and business,” said Christie. “Having been a target before, we know that our security and readiness are absolutely essential to our region. We will be vigilant, proactive, and thorough in making sure we have effective protocols to seamlessly cooperate, continuously engage with one another, and work completely hand-in-hand in these efforts will all of our law enforcement and security partners.”
“Given the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area’s history and location attractive to terrorist groups, we consider the heightening of terrorism activity and tensions between America and these extremist networks with the highest level of attention,” Cuomo said. “By undertaking an immediate analysis of all procedures and security measures in light of these new circumstances, we are taking an important step to proactively anticipate any possible issues. Between our local, state, and federal partners we have extraordinary capacity and talent in the security, intelligence and counter terrorism fields and by working together we will strengthen our protections against the hateful, violent agenda of these terrorist groups.”
The governors established the bi-state group on September 11, noting that in light of the growth and recent activity of extremist terrorist movements abroad and the potential threat they pose to each state and their metropolitan area, it was in the best security interest of the people, infrastructure, and assets of the region to undergo an effort to strengthen existing security and preparedness coordination.
Agencies participating in the bi-state group include: the New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, New Jersey Transit, New Jersey State National Guard, the New York Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York State Police, the New York Police Department, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police, the New York National Guard, and other law enforcement and public safety agencies. The multi-agency group is working in conjunction with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs).