A Congressional committee held a hearing in Trenton today to examine how to improve security measures on transit systems.
New Jersey State Police Lt. Douglas Lemanowicz says law enforcement agencies need to collaborate and share information and analysis to detect and respond to terrorist activity.
“The state of New Jersey lacks digital technologies and personnel to support planning and operational phases in providing consistent real time interagency communications during a multi-agency phase to an incident or an event.”
Charles Cunningham is the director of emergency management at the Delaware River Port Authority. He says law enforcement agencies do share intelligence to prevent potential terrorist attacks, but more must be done.
“Physical hardening and regional asset integration must continue. Operational and sustainability efforts must continue. Investments in cameras, sensors, etc. must be protected by continuing maintenance programs. And digital records must be managed and stored.”
New Jersey Transit police chief Christopher Trucilllo believes increased use of police dogs would go a long way in improving transit security.
“The singular thing we could do to protect mass transit, I’d say put a canine and a trained partner in every train station, and I don’t think you’d have a better deterrent than that.”
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman says she’s appalled by the Trump Administration’s proposal to cut funding for transit security programs. She’s introducing legislation to authorize $400 million worth of grants for transit agencies.
“My legislation seeks to not only secure, revamp, and resource important programs aimed at securing critical soft targets, but also greatly enhances federal partnership with federal, state, and local stakeholders to protect those vital systems and the people who use them.”