About the NJ Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force
Created by the New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Act (pdf), signed into law on October 4, 2001, the New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force is the State's Cabinet-level body responsible for setting homeland security and domestic preparedness policy. Established in, but not of, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Department of Law and Public Safety, the task force reports directly to the Governor. Under Executive Order 5 (Corzine, March 2006), the Task Force is part of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and is chaired by the Director of OHSP.
The task force's activities are designed to reinforce and expand New Jersey's existing antiterrorism efforts by enhancing and integrating security, planning and preparedness measures throughout the state. By establishing a cooperative effort among government agencies at all levels (state, local and federal) and the private sector, the task force will foster greater unity in coordinating the state's domestic security preparedness and planning.
Task Force Membership
The task force is made up of the following members:
- the Attorney General,
- the Superintendent of State Police,
- the Adjutant General of Military and Veterans Affairs,
- the Commissioner of Transportation,
- the Commissioner of Community Affairs,
- the President of the Board of Public Utilities,
- the Director of the Office of Information Technology,
- the Secretary of Agriculture,
- the Commissioner of Environmental Protection,
- the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services
- the Coordinator of the Office of Recovery and Victim Assistance and
- three public members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. One of the public members must have a background or experience in chemical or biological agents used in acts of terrorism.
Task Force Subgroups
To assist the task force in fulfilling its responsibilities, the law calls for the creation of two major subgroups: an Infrastructure Advisory Committee and a Domestic Security Preparedness Planning Group.
The Infrastructure Advisory Committee
- The Infrastructure Advisory Committee, which will include, among others, representatives of utility companies, chemical and pharmaceutical firms, the telecommunications and healthcare industries, will act as a liaison between the public and private sectors.
The New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Planning Group
- The New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Planning Group will be responsible for the actual development of a domestic preparedness plan. Working in conjunction with the task force, the planning group must develop a coordinated plan for consideration by the task force to prepare for, respond to, mitigate and recover from incidents of terrorism. This plan is to be incorporated in the current State Emergency Operations Plan. The members of the planning group include representatives from a wide range of state offices and agencies, medical and health service providers, charitable groups and, to the extent available, federal officials.