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Maritime Safety Initiative

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO endorses the New Jersey State Police Maritime Security Initiative. Countless numbers of our one-million members spend a great deal of work and recreation time on the water and at our docks and ports. We strongly believe that workers in our great State can be of tremendous assistance to law enforcement in collection and reporting information that may be useful to the Statewide Intelligence Management System.

The task of implementing effective domestic preparedness strategies, along with the increased threat of terrorism, has raised some serious concerns for law enforcement agencies. It is a challenge for law enforcement agencies alone to provide absolute security for our Maritime Ports and Critical Infrastructure.

To reinforce our law enforcement matrix, and address the changing trends in terrorism and other criminal activities, within our maritime communities, the Marine Services Bureau has developed the Maritime Security Initiative (MSI). The Maritime Security Initiative recognizes the current trends while increasing port security and developing maritime intelligence.

The MSI program is designed to encourage the development and sharing of intelligence. This initiative relies on the development of a combined Intelligence Based, and Community Outreach Program, through the building of cooperative community and corporate partnerships. These partnerships are essential to support our pro-active intelligence program. This initiative does not rely solely on the public initializing the call, the “call us if you see something” approach, but involves the pro-active pursuit of intelligence via a systematic outreach program involving those associated with our waterways.

To successfully combat terrorism and criminal activity, law enforcement relies on the active involvement of our waterfront community partners. As citizens we can often distinguish between legitimate tourists and boaters, and suspicious activity. There are thousands of recreational boaters, anglers, public and many private marinas throughout this state. All of these venues must be tapped to generate intelligence. All of these individuals are in the process of being trained to assist with identifying criminal/terrorist behavior and indicators.

The overwhelming majority of people who frequent our waterfronts are law-abiding citizens. However, they are also used by criminals, and terrorists to facilitate their activities. Individuals 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.

Our waterfront partners can now report suspicious actions directly to the New Jersey State Police using the internet. Within the security of their home, the public can now submit tips and leads. These tips and leads, are analyzed and disseminated to the appropriate level of law enforcement, municipal, county, state or federal, to be pursued.

With the active involvement of the public and corporate waterfront community, assisting law enforcement, we will effectively blanket our state, and reinforce our safety and security matrix.