Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU)
The Port Authority Police Department Counter Terrorism /THREAT (Tactical Hardening Response Emergency Activation Team) Unit was established in 2017, to deter, detect and respond to acts of terrorism and disorder. The Counter Terrorism/THREAT Unit (CTU) provides rapid, deployable manpower to support facility police operations with specialized abilities and equipment. PAPD threat assessment analysis determines the CTU’s deployments.
Counter Terrorism deployments are designed to deter potential terrorist actions, public disorder and to establish a public awareness of the PAPD’s Counter Terrorism efforts. Intelligence and known information are constantly assessed by the unit allowing it to map tactical strategies to address agency vulnerabilities and risk. Members of the PAPD assigned to the Federal Joint Terrorism Task Force and other law enforcement task forces with our partner agencies are integral in the Counter Terrorism Unit’s threat assessment process.
The Port Authority Police Department K9 Unit was formed in 1984 and has since grown into one of the nation’s largest and busiest K9 units. The unit is comprised of police officers and their canine partners specializing in either explosive or narcotics detection. K9 teams are deployed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to all Port Authority facilities. PAPD K9 police officers and canines receive federal training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas or through PAPD K9 Training Unit. The PAPD K9 Training Unit has trained more than 40 outside agencies. The Port Authority Police K-9 Unit is viewed as a leader in K9 training and enjoys great respect within America’s law enforcement community.
Noteworthy high-profile details performed by members of the Port Authority Police K-9 Unit include:
- Presidential, dignitary and papal visits
- The United Nations General Assembly
- Drug Enforcement Agency task force operations
- K-9 sweeps during the execution of state and federal search warrants
K-9 sweeps of all Port Authority facilities during periods of high terror threats
The Port Authority Police Motorcycle Unit was established in early 2000. In 2005, the Unit was incorporated into the Special Operations Division. Before transferring into the Unit, members of the service are mandated to complete a rigorous 80-hour training program conducted by Northwestern University Public Safety/Harley Davidson Inc. Upon selection and transfer into the Motorcycle Unit, officers are assigned individual Harley Davidson Police Electra Glide Motorcycles.
The Motorcycle Unit is responsible for patrolling all Port Authority tunnels, bridges, airports, bus terminals and marine terminal facilities. The Unit’s primary duties are traffic enforcement, funeral details, VIP movements, accident investigations and parking lot security.
Emergency Services Unit (ESU)
Port Authority Police Officer George Howard, End of Watch September 11, 2001, is considered the father of the PAPD Emergency Service Unit (ESU). In the years before his death he was instrumental in guiding the unit to the prominence it enjoys today.
The PAPD Emergency Service Unity was transferred into the PAPD Special Operations Division in 2005 to coordinate its specialty with other specialized units in the Special Operations Division. Emergency Service Units are assigned to various facilities throughout the Port District to address law enforcement, security, safety and emergency conditions that may arise in the Port District and in partner jurisdictions throughout the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area. PAPD ESU police officers receive specialized training in, but not limited to, tactical response, active shooter, high angle rescue, motor vehicle collision extrication, hazardous materials and confined space rescue. ESU police officers are also proficient in tubular tactical operations involving trains and aircraft. The unit is a member of the Metro Urban Search and Rescue Strike Team with nine other members departments.
Commercial Vehicle Inspection (CVI)
The Port Authority Police Commercial Vehicle Inspection (CVI) Unit was created in 1998. PAPD CVI police officers are trained and certified to enforce The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Rules and Regulations, which governs the safe interstate transport of all vehicular commercial traffic.
The Unit’s primary focus is the removal of unsafe trucks from public roadways and the enforcement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Rules and Regulations, which now includes terrorist intervention within the commercial motor vehicle industry.
The CVI Unit performs radiological screening at Port Authority critical infrastructures, river crossings and airports in addition to hazardous material interdiction initiatives, technical decontamination operations in support of the Emergency Service Unit and heavy weapons training. PAPD CVI police officers are also certified accident investigators and respond to all accidents involving a fatality or serious physical injury.
The Commercial Vehicle Unit employs state-of-the-art inspection and weight enforcement equipment. This equipment includes Haenni handheld scales, Intercomp mobile deck scale systems and mobile motor coach inspection ramps.
The combination of advanced training and updated equipment provides the tools necessary to effectively and efficiently remove unsafe trucks from the public roadways and enhance the mitigation efforts directed at a commercial-vehicle borne terrorist attack.