Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,000,000)
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (the Agency) was established April 30, 1921 between the states of New York and New Jersey with the mission of improving the region’s economic health. Since that time, the Agency’s mandate has evolved to promote and protect the commerce of the bi-state region as well as to undertake improvements to regional transportation. Agency facilities include, but are not limited to, the Holland Tunnel, Lincoln Tunnel, George Washington Bridge, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport as well as the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rail system and the World Trade Center.
The Agency’s top priority is to ensure the safety of Agency facilities and the people who move through them. The mission of the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) is to be a model of excellence in policing by implementing security plans and programs to preserve life and property, enforce law and order, protect infrastructure, manage crisis events, and help maintain safe transportation and port commerce facilities. The Agency is committed to accomplishing this by employing a comprehensive transportation and counterterrorism policing strategy, while ensuring that the core tenets of Pride, Service, and Distinction are always upheld. To enhance the PAPD’s commitment to its mission, the PAPD is looking to implement a body-worn camera (BWC) program throughout its police force of approximately 2,000 officers.
The PAPD is responsible for policing the critical Agency infrastructure and are highly visible throughout these locations to the travelers that access these facilities. PAPD officers respond to over 87K calls for service each year. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the Agency was experiencing record levels of activity: 133M vehicles utilized the Agency’s bridges and tunnels, the PATH system moved 82M passengers, aviation facilities moved 140M passengers and the bus terminals logged 1.8M bus departures. Agency and PAPD leadership believe that the implementation of a BWC program is critical to ensuring the protection of both PAPD officers and the traveling public. As such, the Agency is requesting grant funds for the purchase of 2,000 BWC’s that can be utilized to digitally capture interactions between police and civilians as well as required licenses, storage and docking solutions. This allows for improved capabilities to capture evidence, enhance visibility, accountability and transparency and enhance the safety of both PAPD officers and the millions the utilize Agency facilities.