The Joint Terrorism Task Force and hazard materials units have responded to a number of locations that have received a suspicious letter containing an unknown substance. Most locations have already been secured.
No illnesses or injuries have been reported. Initial field screening on the samples has shown that the substance is inert and not likely to be hazardous. Further testing is being conducted at the state lab in Trenton.
This situation is being thoroughly investigated and more information will be provided when it becomes available.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force and Hazardous Materials units have responded to several locations that have received a suspicious letter and substance. There are no reported injuries at this time and the locations are being secured. This situation is being thoroughly investigated and more information will be provided when it becomes available.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force and Hazard Materials units have responded to several locations that have received a suspicious letter and substance. There are no reported injuries at this time, and the locations are being secured. This situation is being thoroughly investigated and more information will be provided when it becomes available.
January 29, 2014 Contact: Public Information (973) 491-7078
FOR SUPER BOWL-RELATED MEDIA PLANNING:
NJ TRANSIT OUTLINES UPDATED MEDIA ACCESS PROCEDURES FOR SUPER BOWL WEEK
NOTE TO EDITORS: NJ TRANSIT looks forward to working with your organization as we continue to approach Super Bowl XLVIII. For the purposes of planning, be advised of NJ TRANSIT’s official media access protocols for Super Bowl week.
Due to the heightened level of security that will accompany this time, these protocols will be strictly enforced.
Only credentialed media personnel are permitted to film, cover or broadcast on NJ TRANSIT properties. For security purposes, media representatives are required to display press credentials at all times.
Credentialed media representatives are not be permitted to film aboard buses, trains, light rail vehicles and platforms without approval of the Public Information office. If approval is granted by NJ TRANSIT, they must display their credentials and be personally escorted by a Public Information representative and/or Ambassador.
Live shots within NJ TRANSIT facilities or aboard NJ TRANSIT buses, trains and light rail vehicles are prohibited at all times.
Credentialed media representatives are not be permitted to film or broadcast live EXCEPT in specifically designated exterior locations coordinated with, and approved by NJ TRANSIT’s Public Information Office.
All credentialed media representatives granted access to film within NJ TRANSIT facilities are required to operate using power packs and remote technologies. No credentialed media representatives are permitted to line wires or cable within NJ TRANSIT facilities, or permitted to access facility power outlets.
NJ TRANSIT’s media office will be accessible 24/7 during Super Bowl week, and can be reached at 973-491-7078.
SUPER BOWL SUNDAY:
On Super Bowl Sunday, media access will be limited at Secaucus Junction, New York Penn Station and for filming purposes aboard the system. The following protocols are offered to enable credentialed media representatives access for interview/filming purposes.
A. Interviews with NJ TRANSIT Spokespersons at Secaucus Junction
NJ TRANSIT spokespersons will be available at Secaucus Junction throughout Super Bowl Sunday for interview requests. To schedule interviews, please call 973-491-7078.
B. Filming Aboard Trains Traveling Between New York Penn Station and Secaucus Junction
NJ TRANSIT will be offering extremely limited access for filming aboard trains operating between New York Penn Station and Secaucus Junction on Super Bowl Sunday.
Credentialed media personnel seeking to film/interview customers traveling between these two stations will be afforded access to North Jersey Coast Line Train 7241, leaving New York Penn Station at 12:07 pm and arriving at Secaucus Junction at 12:16 p.m. Please note that this will be the only train operating between New York Penn and Secaucus on Super Bowl Sunday in which filming will be permitted.
Credentialed media personnel will meet representatives of the NJ TRANSIT press office in front of the Customer Service Office (7th Avenue Concourse) at 11:45 a.m.
To reserve a spot for your organization, please call 973-491-7078.
C. Filming in Secaucus Junction – and Aboard Trains Traveling to MetLife Stadium
NJ TRANSIT will be offering extremely limited access for media organizations seeking to film/interview customers at Secaucus Junction, and for filming/interviewing customers aboard trains operating between Secaucus Junction and MetLife Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday.
For general film/interview purposes at Secaucus Junction, access will be permitted until 12:30 p.m. with reservations and a media office escort. Please call 973-491-7078 for reservations.
For organizations seeking to interview/film customers utilizing MetLife Stadium trains, NJ TRANSIT will provide one-time access for media representatives at 12:30 p.m. from the Upper Level Rotunda in Secaucus Junction. Reservations are required, space is limited and all credentialed media personnel will be required to submit to enhanced security screening. All media personnel will also be required to return to Secaucus with your media office representative at the conclusion of MetLife Stadium passenger drop-off. To schedule filming/travel, please call 973-491-7078.
NJ TRANSIT looks forward to working with you throughout this exciting week. As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office should you have any questions, or if we can be of assistance.
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 261 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.
For Immediate Release: For Further Information
October 8, 2013 Rachel Goemaat (609) 292-4791
NJ HUMAN TRAFFICKING TASK FORCE LAUNCHES NEW HOTLINE TO
REPORT SUSPECTED HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Hotline Operational Before, During and After 2014 Super Bowl
TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman today announced today that the New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force has launched a new hotline for people to call to report suspected incidents of human trafficking in the state of New Jersey.
The new hotline – 1-855-END-NJ-HT (1-855-363-6548) – is easy to remember and serves as a constant reminder of New Jersey’s commitment to end human trafficking in the state. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by detectives in the Human Trafficking Unit within the Division of Criminal Justice.
Today’s announcement is part of a public outreach campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking ahead of the 2014 Super Bowl in the Meadowlands. From now through the end of November, two billboards outside of MetLife stadium will promote the Division’s anti-trafficking/anti-demand campaign.
With the Super Bowl expected to bring an influx of thousands of people into New Jersey, the state will be at an increased vulnerability to human trafficking. New Jersey is already a prime location for domestic and international human trafficking because of its central location between the New York metropolitan area and the tri-state metropolitan region of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. It is the most densely populated state in the U.S. and has the third highest proportion of foreign born residents at nearly 20 percent.
“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that deprives its victims of their most basic right, their freedom,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “As the nation’s attention turns to the 2014 Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, those of us in law enforcement will continue protecting people within our borders from the atrocities of human trafficking.”
“We hope that public vigilance will lead to referrals to the new hotline, which will in turn lead to additional investigations and prosecutions,” Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig said. “The Division of Criminal Justice will continue to work hand-in-hand with its law enforcement partners to combat the heinous crime of human trafficking.”
Victims of human trafficking – men, women and children – are often exploited for the purpose of commercial sexual activity, including prostitution and pornography, as well as many types of forced labor, including domestic servitude and migrant agricultural work. Traffickers lure and control their victims through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, and employ techniques such as physical and psychological abuse, false employment offers, document holding, and isolation.
The New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force, under the direction of Assistant Attorney General Tracy M. Thompson, trains and assists law enforcement in methods of identifying victims and signs of trafficking in order to disrupt and interdict this activity, coordinates statewide efforts in the identification and provision of services to victims of human trafficking and increases the successful interdiction and prosecution of trafficking of humans.
Officials saw a spike in calls to the Division of Criminal Justice in July, after the Division announced the arrests of a Lakewood man and four male associates on charges of human trafficking for allegedly operating brothels in Lakewood that were part of a network of brothels in New Jersey, New York and other states that trafficked women from Mexico to the United States to work as prostitutes. The alleged ringleader’s girlfriend also was arrested for assisting him in operating the brothels.
The New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force will hold a Victim/Survivor Awareness Summit on Oct. 25 in Trenton to debunk common myths and raise awareness about human trafficking victims and survivors. This program will also address their needs, issues and concerns, and highlight the effective ways to resolve them. The New Jersey Task Force plans to hold several more outreach events ahead of the Feb. 2, 2014 Super Bowl.
Additional information about the New Jersey Human Trafficking Task Force, as well as indicators on how to identify human trafficking, can be found at http://www.njhumantrafficking.gov.
Behind the glamour, fanfare and excitement of the first Super Bowl to be played in New Jersey stands one of the largest coordinated law enforcement efforts ever assembled in the region to ensure that nothing — not a terrorist, a shooter or a bomber — disrupts the fans’ experience.
Some 100 law enforcement agencies have been working for two years to develop a comprehensive security plan for the game, which will draw an estimated 80,000 fans to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford next Sunday.
Officials said several factors made Super Bowl XLVIII unique from a security standpoint, much like the fact that it will be the first one played outdoors in a cold-weather arena.
Working to their advantage, authorities say, is the isolated and remote location of the stadium. Because most spectators will arrive by train or bus at what’s being billed as the first mass-transit Super Bowl, authorities say they can better control who is entering and leaving the stadium.
By the same token, the fact that associated events are spread between two states forces security officials to extend their area of scrutiny.
“Next to a presidential swearing in, this is a premier event on that level,” said James O’Connor, a homeland security consultant and state police security instructor who has trained about 500 guards for the event.
The Big Game has brought together agencies ranging from the FBI to the East Rutherford Police Department; from the Coast Guard to the New York City Police Department.
And, authorities say, a key to their extensive preparations — learned from the lessons of past Super Bowls as well as from terrorist events such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the 9/11 attacks — is an enhanced level of information sharing and collaboration among all levels of government that didn’t exist before 9/11. Col. Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, called the change revolutionary.
“We’ve trained on this from A to Z and we’re probably as prepared as any venue could be, but we realize that the stakes are very high,” he said.
‘A whole new era’
After 9/11, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated Super Bowls “Level One” events, which means that they are targets for terrorism and that federal authorities are involved in security plans.
“A whole new era has developed since Sept. 11,” said U.S. Rep. Peter King, chairman of the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee for the Committee on Homeland Security. “In addition to that, New York and northern New Jersey are the number-one terrorist targets in the country.”
Security costs are being absorbed by the various public agencies involved, while the National Football League will spend between $10 million and $11 million of its own on security operations, employing an estimated 3,000 civilian security professionals at the stadium on game day. State police officials said they did not yet have a total budget figure but said regular pay, not overtime, would be issued to troopers on game day to minimize costs.
“No one attending this great American event should have to worry about anything other than whether or not their favorite team will win,” said Aaron Ford, special agent in charge for the FBI’s Newark office.
Much of the security measures undertaken by authorities have been kept under wraps, but the agencies have revealed some details.
The FBI has said its primary role is to thwart a terrorist event such as an active shooter, bomber, or biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear threat, Ford said. The agency will oversee a joint-operations center at an undisclosed location that will serve as an interagency command post for responses to credible terrorist threats. The center, which is activated one week before the game, operates 24 hours a day and involves federal, state and local authorities gathering intelligence to identify possible threats.
“If the intelligence received requires the FBI to become operational, all assets and partners are already in one place,” Ford said. “There are dozens of computer workstations for each agency and numerous wall monitors displaying surveillance cameras at various venues throughout the state.”
The Federal Aviation Administration also plans to establish temporary flight restrictions over the stadium from noon until one hour after the game ends. Flights by media, banner planes, blimps and general aviation are prohibited from entering the airspace.
Fuentes said his agency would deploy between 500 and 700 troopers to the stadium on game day, and will have helicopters aloft and boats patrolling the Hackensack and Hudson rivers. He noted that troopers who normally patrol the state’s highways will remain on those duties.
There are currently no credible terrorist threats, Fuentes said. The greatest concern facing authorities is an active shooter or homegrown violent extremist who is not affiliated with any group, Fuentes said.
Super Bowl security differs from an event like the Boston Marathon in that it’s centralized in one location, as opposed to a race that winds through city streets, which greatly complicates crowd control.
And unlike previous championship games where stadiums were easily accessible from nearby hotels, most of the fans for this game will be arriving either by NJ Transit train from the Secaucus Junction station or bus. No taxis are permitted and only 12,000 parking spots are available via passes purchased in advance. The 16,000 other spots typically available on game day are being taken up by welcome pavilions where fans will be screened and by a perimeter fence around the stadium that has been extended from 100 to 300 feet.
Tailgating is also limited to the space in each spot and grills are prohibited.
By early Monday morning, each of the buildings in the 750-acre Meadowlands Sports Complex will be shut down, with no public access for the entire week before the game.
At the same time, though, the reliance on mass transit presents a whole new set of security challenges, King and O’Connor said.
While the stadium is a primary terrorism target, secondary targets such as train stations or other mass-transit hubs are realities. Airports must also be monitored, O’Connor said.
But Fuentes said all of the agencies were aware that “security doesn’t end at the property line at the Meadowlands complex”; it extends to the tunnel crossings into New York, the waterways, highways and railways.
Out of sight
In the days leading up to the game, security will also be tight in Jersey City, where the teams are staying, and for the more than 26 events scheduled in Manhattan. The largest event there is “Super Bowl Boulevard,” a 13-block stretch of Broadway in midtown that will feature autograph sessions, concerts and family friendly fare such as a giant toboggan run.
“There will be a lot of things that will be visible to the eye,” said New York Police Department Chief James Waters. “There will be a robust police presence in the street to assist with traffic, and there will be a robust counter-terrorism overlay out in the street with [explosion detection] K-9 dogs and our cameras and sensors we have in place.”
That, of course, is in addition to law enforcement activity taking place behind the scenes, which authorities declined to discuss in any detail.
In preparation for their role, Jersey City public safety and emergency management officials last week held a preparedness exercise where a series of hypothetical situations were debated. The sobering scenarios ranged from a possible threat to one of the hotels where the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks plan to stay, to a chemical attack at a nearby mall, to a suspect being shot and killed, and to a city police officer being slain upon entering a hotel room near the Holland Tunnel.
“It’s obviously scary and it’s obviously something to be concerned about, but we definitely have the resources from the city’s standpoint to deal with this sort of thing, and we’re doing everything possible to make sure that everything is coordinated,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
Staff Writer John Brennan contributed to this article.
Jersey City: Monday, January 27 through Sunday, February 2
1. Columbus Drive closed from Hyatt Hotel to Hudson Street (Light Rail Operation will not be affected on Hudson Street
2. Washington Ave. in front of Westin Hotel intermittent/temporary closures daily for bus operation. 6th Street adjacent to Westin Hotel intermittent/temporary closures daily for bus operation.
Tuesday, January 28 only: Mulberry Street between Lafayette Street and Market Street will be closed beginning at 6:00 a.m. and will remain closed until approximately 4:00 p.m. Lafayette Street between Mulberry Street and Broad Street may be intermittently closed as necessary during this time.
On Super Bowl Sunday, February 2, motorists should expect congested roads in the area of MetLife Stadium. Motorists can get up-to-date information involving traffic on the http://www.nj511.org website and/or call 511. The New Jersey Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority will be displaying Dynamic Message Signs throughout the North Region of New Jersey to alert motorists about traffic conditions.