December 30, 2011

No. 36: Declaring an Emergency in Order to Appoint New Jersey and Connecticut Police Officers as Railroad Police Officers to Provide Enhanced Security on Commuter Trains, Buses and Ferries

TOP No. 36: Declaring an Emergency in Order to...
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WHEREAS, thousands of commuters travel between the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut via Mass Transit Systems which include interstate rail, bus and ferry systems accessible to the public, and an enhanced law enforcement presence on these conveyances is prudent to protect public safety; and

 

WHEREAS, terrorists have used explosive and other devices to attack public and private transportation systems as demonstrated by the bombings in London in 2005 and in Madrid in 2004, and, while there is no known confirmed threat to the New York metropolitan area, the mass transit systems between New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are particularly high risk targets; and

 

WHEREAS, the numerous attacks and attempted attacks in New York, including the foiled plots of Najibullah Zazi and his co-conspirators in September 2009; Faisal Shahzad and his co-conspirators in May 2010; and the recent arrest of Jose Pimental, AKA Muhammad Yusuf, in November 2011, demonstrate that terrorists continue to represent a persistent threat against the State of New York; and

 

WHEREAS, the terrorist threat during the holiday season is demonstrated by recent incidents within the holiday period, including the 2009 Christmas Day plot to blow up a Detroit bound airliner; the November 2010 plot to bomb a holiday tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, by a homegrown violent extremist; the December 2010 attack on a market filled with Christmas shoppers in Stockholm, Sweden, by a suicide bomber; and the December 2010 arrests in the United Kingdom of 12 individuals plotting to conduct attacks during the holiday season; and

 

WHEREAS, the May 2011 death of Usama bin Laden (UBL), coupled with the subsequent removal of several key al-Qaida figures, could further contribute to terrorists desires to stage an attack during this holiday season as a way to avenge UBLs death and reassert the groups relevance; and

 

WHEREAS, the States of Connecticut and New Jersey have agreed to deploy police officers from their states to provide increased security on commuter trains, buses and ferries going to and from New York State; and

 

WHEREAS, sworn members of the Connecticut State Police, sworn police officers of any county or municipality in the State of Connecticut, sworn members of the New Jersey State Police, and sworn police officers of any county or municipality in the State of New Jersey are restricted in their law enforcement authority once the conveyance crosses the jurisdictional boundary between Connecticut and New York or between New Jersey and New York, respectively; and

 

WHEREAS, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are all members of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which allows for mutual assistance and resource sharing among sister states; and

 

WHEREAS, EMAC provides that emergency forces from the sending state, while operating within the jurisdictional boundaries of the receiving state pursuant to the compact, shall have the same powers (except that of arrest unless specifically authorized by the receiving state), duties, rights and privileges as are afforded forces of the receiving state in which they are performing emergency services; and

 

WHEREAS, to utilize the police resources provided by our sister states, we must confer police officer powers, including arrest powers, on such officers while they are within the geographic jurisdiction of New York State; and

 

WHEREAS, Railroad Law 88 authorizes the Superintendent of State Police to appoint any person as a railroad police officer only under prescribed circumstances and subject to certain limitations; and

 

WHEREAS, such circumstances and limitations should not be applied to sworn police officers from our sister states serving as railroad police officers and would prevent, hinder and delay action necessary in response to a terrorist attack and threat thereof; and

 

WHEREAS, Executive Law 29-a authorizes the suspension, alteration and modification of statutes, local laws, ordinances, orders, rules or regulations, or parts thereof, if compliance with such provisions would prevent, hinder or delay action necessary to cope with a disaster emergency and the inclusion of any other terms and conditions;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of the State of New York, do hereby find that a disaster may be imminent for which the affected local governments are unable to respond adequately without assistance. Therefore, pursuant to the authority vested in me by the Constitution of the State of New York and Section 28 of Article 2-B of the Executive Law, I hereby declare a State Disaster Emergency effective December 31, 2011; and

 

FURTHER, pursuant to the authority vested in me by Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law to temporarily suspend and modify specific provisions of any statute, local law, ordinance, order, rule or regulation, or parts thereof, of any agency during a State disaster emergency, if compliance with such provisions would prevent, hinder or delay action necessary to cope with the disaster, I hereby temporarily suspend and modify, for the period from 12:01 AM on December 31, 2011 until 12:01 AM on January 2, 2012, the following laws for purposes of appointment of sworn members of the Connecticut State Police, sworn police officers of any county or municipality in the State of Connecticut, sworn members of the New Jersey State Police, and sworn police officers of any county or municipality in the State of New Jersey as Railroad Police:

 

Subdivision 1 of Section 88 of the Railroad Law is suspended insofar as it requires the Superintendent of the New York State Police to appoint railroad police officers only upon the application of a corporation, express company, or steamboat company, and is modified to the extent necessary to allow the Governor to appoint sworn members of the Connecticut State Police, sworn police officers of any county or municipality in the State of Connecticut, sworn members of the New Jersey State Police, and sworn police officers of any county or municipality in the State of New Jersey as railroad police officers, and to include all rail and bus facilities and property owned, operated or in the custody or control of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey or its subsidiaries, the Metropolitan Transit Authority or its subsidiaries, New Jersey Transit or its subsidiaries, and ferries certified to carry passengers to and from New York State;

 

Subdivisions 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17 of Section 88 of the Railroad Law are suspended, as necessary to effectuate this Order; and

 

FURTHER, this Order shall take effect at 12:01AM on December 31, 2011 and shall remain in effect until 12:01AM on January 2, 2012.

 

G I V E N under my hand and the Privy Seal of the
State in the City of Albany this thirtieth
day of December in the year two thousand
eleven.

 

BY THE GOVERNOR

 

Secretary to the Governor

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