The New Jersey Transit Police Department (NJTPD) is a transit police force for the New Jersey Transit Corporation in the state of New Jersey. It is a general-powers police agency with state wide jurisdiction with the primary focus on policing the numerous bus depots, rail and light-rail stations throughout New Jersey.
The primary mission of the New Jersey Transit Police Department is to ensure a safe and orderly environment within the transit system, promoting the confidence of the riding public and enhancing the maximum use of the transit system. Their fundamental duty is to safeguard lives and property; protect against deception, intimidation and violence, counter-terrorism; and to uphold, without prejudice, the constitutional rights of all people.
The New Jersey Transit Police Department is the only transit policing agency in the country with statewide authority and jurisdiction. The department was created on January 1, 1983, and it evolved as a result of the passage of the Public Transportation Act of 1979 and subsequent legislation on the state and federal levels. At that time, the original complement included thirty-nine Commissioned Rail Police Officers. On January 12, 1990, NJSA 27:25-15.1 was enacted into law, and it established the New Jersey Transit Police Department as a sworn law enforcement agency with the "general authority, without limitation, to exercise police powers and duties, as provided for police officers and law enforcement officers, in all criminal and traffic matters at all times throughout the State..." The authorized strength of the Department includes 220 sworn officers and 67 non-sworn members (which include Fare Enforcement Inspectors) serving the more than 400,000 commuters who use the NJ Transit system daily. In addition, the New Jersey Transit Police is responsible for policing the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail and the RiverLINE.
The New Jersey Transit Police Department has its headquarters located out of One Penn Plaza East, Newark, New Jersey. However, the department has many different commands located over the entire state to provide coverage to New Jersey Transit's extensive system of railways and bus terminals.
North Region 1:
North Region 2:
South Region 1:
South Region 2:
One of the primary missions of the New Jersey Transit Police Department is the prevention of terrorism on all of New Jersey Transit's trains and buses. This is especially relevant since the 2004 terrorist attacks of the transit system in Madrid, Spain.
After September 11, 2001, the Essex County, NJ, bomb squad had a tenfold increase in requests for bomb detection. This caused a problem for New Jersey Transit, according to the agency’s then police chief, Mary F. Rabadeau. At Penn Station in Newark, the transit authority had been dependent on the Essex County bomb squad to respond to every bomb threat or suspicious parcel. That disrupted the station, sometimes for hours, having an immense impact on transportation in the area, because the station is host to hundreds of daily Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains, plus two rapid transit lines and intercity and local buses. The best resource the agency could provide with the most apparent and immediate impact was canine bomb-detection teams. After interviewing people at other agencies that had their own canine bomb-detection squads, New Jersey Transit chose the Essex County police to train the transit police on New Jersey Transit property—on trains and buses and in stations and other facilities where the teams would be working. The program was fairly inexpensive, using dogs that had washed out of seeing-eye training but were calm and obedient—fine for bomb detection. New Jersey Transit customized three road vehicles so that the teams could operate statewide, presenting themselves without notice. By patrolling Penn Station, the teams have "hardened it as a target and are welcomed by passengers, said Rabadeau". Because a large percentage of bomb alerts turn out to be false, the fast response minimizes disruption to the flow of trains and passengers. The teams also give demonstrations at schools and terminals and provide assistance to other agencies.
During his tenure, former Governor James McGreevy helped dramatically expand the counter-terrorism capabilities of the New Jersey Transit Police. The governor allowed the purchase of a Police Mobile Command Vehicle, which is a 40-foot transit bus converted into a mobile response unit for the New Jersey Transit Police Department. The vehicle contains outside phone lines, a fax machine, portable computers and printers, and an on-board radio system with several frequency bands to communicate with other law enforcement agencies, as well as other regional transit agencies. The following measures were also enacted,
The New Jersey Transit Police Department is not without its fair share of problems and criticism. In 2002, a study relased by the former New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton has concluded that New Jersey Transit's police force is not prepared to handle a terrorist attack. The report said the agency's then 120-member police force lacks the training to protect the 400,000 daily bus and rail commuters. The report, which was completed in the fall of 2001, recommends that the agency should create divisions to monitor troubled train stations and to crack down on fare-beating. The direct response to this was the creation of the Justice Team and an extensive hiring blitz to bring new police officers onto the department. Since the study the department has considerably added onto its counter-terrorism capability with the creation of many new units and the issuance of better technology to its patrol officers. Each transit police officer is issued a Dosimeter which can be used to measure radiation.
The main problem currently plaguing the department is the exodus of its police officers to better paid state and municipal police departments. The top salary of $73,000, while very high compared to that of other transit police agencies such as the Amtrak Police Department, lags behind its municipal and state counterparts such as the New Jersey State Police with a top salary of $97,188.48, and the Port Authority Police Department with a top salary of $86,467.
The New Jersey Transit Police Department's "Class A" uniforms share a striking resemblance to the uniforms of the New Jersey State Police. It features the same style of uniform belt, Sam Browne Belt, uniform hat and dress blouse. However, unlike the NJSP, Transit allows its officers to wear "Class B" uniforms. Transit police officers wear a badge on their coat, unlike the NJSP, modeled after the badge of the New York City Police Department
Officers in Special Operations wear a B.D.U. uniform. During special events and training, other members of the department wear B.D.U.'s as well.
As for equipment, the standard sidearm for the department is the SIG P229 chambered in .40 S&W. Transit also utilizes the Remington 870 Police Magnum shotgun as well as M4 Commando Rifles for Special Operations officers including the JUSTICE Team, OEM and Training Unit.
The New Jersey Transit Police Department utilizes many different vehicles in its fleet. Among the used vehicles are Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors, Ford Explorers, Chevrolet Impalas, Dodge Durangos, Dodge Magnums, Chevrolet Tahoes and Chevrolet Suburbans. Transit police officers also ride the buses and railways to provide more direct policing. In addition, the NJTPD has several minibuses outfitted as mobile command centers at strategic locations.
NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT, AMTRAK REVIEW SECURITY WITH TRANSIT, POLICE AGENCIES ALONG NORTHEAST CORRIDOR
Mar 25, 2009; NEW YORK, March 24 -- The New York City Police Department issued the following news release: New York City Police Commissioner...