Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEM)
Sgt. W. Greg Kierce, Director
The Jersey City/Newark Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), which is comprised of the two “Core” cities of Jersey City and Newark and the seven counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic and Union is one of the six Tier 1 urban regions considered at greater risk of terrorist attacks.
The UASI program focuses on enhancing the regional preparedness in major metropolitan areas. The UASI program directly supports the National Priority on expanding regional collaboration in the National Preparedness Guidelines and is intended to assist participating jurisdictions in developing integrated regional systems for prevention, protection, response and recovery. Consistent with the 9/11 Act, states are required to ensure that at least 25 percent of UASI appropriated funds are dedicated towards law enforcement terrorism prevention-oriented planning, organization, training, exercise and equipment activities, including those activities which support the development and operation of fusion centers.
Homeland Security Funding
One of the goals of OEM is to aggressively pursue any and all Federal Homeland Security dollars to enhance response capabilities of our first responders in an effort to provide the best security available for Jersey City residents. Since 2006, Jersey City has received over 9.2 million dollars of homeland security dollars.
These funds provided for:
- Construction of a State of the art Emergency Operations Center
- Eight explosive detecting/patrol K-9s
- Mobile Field Communications Command Vehicle
- High Rise/Tunnel Rescue Unit
- State of the Art River Operations Vessel
- Equipment for new Citywide Emergency Communications Center
- Security enhancements for the city water system
- Emergency Public Warning system
- Mandated NIMS training for city employees
- Four electric patrol vehicles
- Installation and inclusion of video surveillance cameras on the downtown waterfront
into the citywide CCTV system
- Enhanced Information sharing to include real-time video feed capabilities of
city CCTV cameras into police and fire vehicles
- Enhanced communication capabilities to include a back-up fire scene analog
radio system installation of the five “Mutual Link Systems” (JC School system,
St. Peter College, NJCU, Newport Mall, City-Wide Communications center providing
instantaneous interoperability between first responders and the private sector
during emergency situations
- Enhanced CBRNE Detection/Response to include a Mass Decontamination
truck, and detection equipment
- Mass Response Shelter Unit
- Mobile Explosive Ordinance and Disposal vehicle
It is important to recognize that ALL of these initiatives were funded at no expense to the taxpayers of Jersey City.
Jersey City OEM Cited In Security White Paper
Jersey City was one of the first major cities to adapt and promote the Mutual Link system detailed in the following white paper and the only city which uses it in a maritime environment (JCPD River-Ops).
According to OEM Director Greg Kierce,” Our intent is to install a system on the Fire Department’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, & Explosive (CBRNE) vessel. In an effort to ensure situational awareness with the private sector we successfully lobbied Department of Homeland Security & N.J Office of Homeland Security & Preparedness (OHSP) to fund three additional systems for the Newport Mall, Goldman Sachs, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). In the near future they will also fund systems for Mack-Cali properties and Lefrak providing total coverage to the waterfront financial network.
"As the Jersey City waterfront hosts a variety of both key financial entities as well as other critical infrastructure - PATH, Holland Tunnel, PANYNJ Police HQ, Hudson Bergen Light Rail - classified by DHS as critical assets the need to provide a means to communicate and share situational awareness for both natural and man made events is imperative, " Director Kierce added.
A National Vision for an Inclusive Communications Sharing Platform, October 2012.