NEWARK— The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors approved a contract that will provide security and terrorism awareness training for its frontline employees, funded by a grant received through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Transit Security Grant Program.
“The security of our transportation network will be further enhanced by training that assists our bus operators, train crews, regional supervisors, police officers, and other frontline employees in recognizing and reporting potential threats,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein. “The ability to recognize, report and respond to potential terrorist or criminal activity at the earliest stage is critical to protecting our bus, rail and light rail system.”
“Because our frontline employees work with the public on a continuous basis, they are essentially the ‘eyes and ears’ of our transit system,” said NJ TRANSIT Police Chief Christopher Trucillo. “As such, it is critical that we equip them with appropriate knowledge of terrorism awareness, prevention and mitigation, which is particularly timely given the international events of recent weeks.”
The Board authorized a $4.3 million contract with Protecting the Homelands Innovations, LLC, for the implementation of ProActive Terrorist Recognition and Interdiction Operations and Tactics (P.A.T.R.I.O.T.) System training to approximately 9,500 NJ TRANSIT employees. Based in Massachusetts, Protecting the Homelands Innovations is the only company authorized by the federal and state departments of Homeland Security to offer this training.
P.A.T.R.I.O.T. System training, formerly known as Behavioral Assessment Screening System (BASS) training, was first introduced to the law enforcement community and has extended to civilians who work in areas of mass transportation, stadiums, retail venues, and other facilities with a high volume of patrons.
The P.A.T.R.I.O.T. System training will enhance NJ TRANSIT’s existing programs designed to improve the agency’s efficiency and response to potential terrorist incidents, officials said. This training is designed to teach frontline employees how to quickly recognize potential high-risk individuals through observation and assessment of their behavior.
NJ TRANSIT received a total grant amount of $9 million; the remaining will be used toward related materials, equipment and other costs.
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