Downward Trend Continues as Safety and Security Remain Top Priorities
An increase in police staffing and training, investment in security, and cooperation with other law enforcement agencies has resulted in a 44.8 percent decrease in criminal activity at Port Authority facilities since 2001, the agency announced today. From 2002 to 2003, criminal activity dropped by 8.3 percent.
The statistics, which are collected by the agency’s Public Safety Department, represent overall targeted crimes, including assault, robbery and larceny.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, \"Protecting the public at Port Authority facilities remains the top priority of this agency. Under the direction of governors James E. McGreevey and George E. Pataki, the Port Authority has invested more than $300 million to enhance security. We are currently implementing a five-year, $500 million capital plan to further reinforce existing security systems. I commend the fine men and women of the Port Authority Police Department who are on the front lines implementing these invaluable initiatives.\"
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, \"Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Port Authority has remained on a heightened state of alert. More than 500 new officers have been hired since that day – a major factor in the overall reduction of crime. The drop in criminal activity at our airports, tunnels and bridges, PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system, bus terminals and ports once again proves that the Port Authority Police Department is one of the finest forces in the country.\"
Port Authority Public Safety Director/Superintendent Charles D. De Rienzo said, \"Law enforcement agencies are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to fight crime and the Port Authority Police Department is no different. Criminal activity has decreased significantly since the beginning of 2002 at all Port Authority facilities due to a number of factors. We have placed a strong emphasis on highly specialized training for our officers and continue to work in close coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety of the public at our transportation facilities. Citizens are encouraged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.\"
In March 2003, the Port Authority Police Department established an anti-crime hotline – 800 828-PAPD (7273) – for citizens to report suspicious activity in and around Port Authority facilities.
Created in 1928, the Port Authority Police Department has more than 1,600 officers and commanders. Its responsibilities include law enforcement, the protection of life and property, and the safety and security of all the Port Authority land, sea, air and rail facilities in the Port District.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.