By Desirée Taylor
They’re out in full force patrolling one of the busiest waterways in the world. New Jersey State Police comb the Hudson River and perimeter for suspicious activity morning, noon and night. While security will be enhanced during the week of the Super Bowl, the mission remains the same.
“We’re enhancing capabilities for Super Bowl week because we know there will be an influx of hundreds of thousands of folks in the area so we make sure we’re addressing every type of threat that may be presented to us and mitigate anything that is coming at us,” said Lt. Colonel Edward Cetnar of the State Police.
Authorities call this a high security event. That’s why New Jersey State Police will be working with the Coast Guard, NYPD and other partners to secure this roughly half-mile area that includes critical infrastructure.
“The New Jersey State Police goes at this from on an air, land, sea operation. Obviously you can see where we are out in water. We have a maritime commitment to waterway, our aviation folks flying up their, around our critical infrastructure, as well as our rail lines,” Cetna explained.
To help them handle virtually any situation at any time, the New Jersey State Police has an impressive fleet and high tech equipment.
“We have radiation equipment. It’s portable. We can do scans on boats to see if there are any bomb building materials or any artificial materials that should not be on the vestibule. We have infrared cameras,” said NJ State Police Trooper Christopher Williams.
And while the focus is on patrolling the Hudson River, there are shallow waterways near the Meadowlands that will also be monitored and secured.
Providing security for the big game can present big challenges, but authorities say they’re ready. That’s because they patrol the waterway all of the time. And in a post 9/11 world, there’s always a risk.
“They do this every day — summer, winter. These boats are out here protecting New York and New Jersey to make sure there is no disruption,” Cetnar said.
And while New York and New Jersey are sharing the stage for football’s biggest event, New Jersey State Police know most of the action will take place on the Jersey side of the Hudson River.
“The game is in New Jersey, teams staying in New Jersey, Media Day is in New Jersey — a lot of events in New Jersey. We’re up for the challenge and thrilled to be part of this,” said Cetnar.
With kickoff less than two weeks away, New Jersey State Police say all this preparation is needed to ensure the action stays on the field where it belongs.