NJ Office of Emergency
Colonel Rick Fuentes
New Jersey State Police
Deputy State Director
State Director of Emergency Management
of Emergency Management
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Neal Buccino (609) 882-2000 ext.
2738 October 11,
CODEY ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION OF "OPERATION
IN NEW ORLEANS
New Jersey First Responders Return Home After
Humanitarian Deliveries, 911 Responses
(TRENTON) – Acting Governor Richard J. Codey today announced the successful
conclusion of Operation LEAD in New Orleans, with the return today and
tomorrow of New Jersey police officers and other personnel from their
base in Louisiana.
The mission was made under the provisions of the Emergency Management
Assistance Compact (EMAC) mutual aid agreement between the states of
New Jersey and Louisiana. "Operation LEAD" is ending because Louisiana's
leaders have determined that local agencies are now in a position to
resume their operations in New Orleans and the surrounding areas.
"In the time of greatest need, New Jersey helped New Orleans turn the
corner," Codey said "When I visited that devastated city, New Orleans'
leaders offered great praise for the high level of training and skill
shown by New Jersey's law enforcement officers. Colonel Fuentes, Lieutenant
Colonel Malast and Major Hunt are to be commended for putting together
a such a world-class, well-organized deployment."
Operation LEAD, short for "Louisiana Emergency Assistance Deployment,"
began September 3 and effectively ends this week. The Operation was
organized and directed by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
More than 600 personnel from across New Jersey, including local and
state law enforcement officers, water rescue technicians, hazmat personnel,
decontamination personnel, medical support personnel and others, responded.
The Operation included the creation of "Camp New Jersey," essentially
a self-contained police department that led the law enforcement and
other emergency services for New Orleans' Second Police District and
the surrounding region. No other state helped the City of New Orleans
in this manner.
"New Jersey's first responders have made a significant impact in Louisiana,"
said Attorney General Peter C. Harvey. "It's a testament to their training
and character that they have been able to help the state and its citizens,
and we are grateful for their courage, selflessness and dedication.
We extend them our thanks and we are grateful for their safe return."
Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of New Jersey State Police and
Director of the State Office of Emergency Management, said, "This was
an enormous mission with operations ranging from search and rescue,
to patrols of the city streets, to emergency medical services. We distributed
water and meals ready to eat, to meet peoples' basic needs. Many times,
a person's first point of contact turned out to be a New Jersey law
The main activities of Operation LEAD fell into the following categories:
- Uniformed police patrols in New Orleans' Second and Sixth
police districts, and in the cities of Harahan and Kenner. During
much of the mission, patrols were conducted in two 10-hour patrol
shifts per day, averaging 20 officers per shift.
- Investigation of 4,028 unanswered 911 calls. On average,
50 officers devoted eight hours per day to effort to help Louisiana
State Police clear their backlogged 911 calls.
- Force protection for FEMA DEMORT teams engaged in body recovery
- Urban Search And Rescue (USAR). This was the major emphasis
of New Jersey's early operations in Louisiana. Up to 77 New Jersey
police officers and 14 members of New Jersey Task Force One worked
10 hours per day on search and rescue operations.
- Decontamination operations. Four decontamination teams with
an average of 24 members provided decontamination for personnel from
New Jersey and other states. One Decon Unit provided decontamination
services for residents of St. Bernard Parish, and two were stationed
in Baton Rouge.
- Security assignments. New Jersey officers provided security
services at commercial locations throughout the cities of Harahan
- EMS service. The presence of ambulances and paramedics from
New Jersey ensured the members of Operation LEAD would not become
a burden on local EMS services. New Jersey's medical units also aided
nearby communities. They provided rehabilitation for field personnel,
treated minor injuries, distributed over-the-counter medications,
and responded to life-safety emergencies.
- Criminal intelligence. Operation LEAD's criminal investigation
contingent collected, analyzed and investigated intelligence information,
and provided that information to other agencies in support of law
Beginning September 3 and ending this week, the members of Operation
- Conducted 133 field deployments
- Searched 7,890 homes
- Identified 174 persons sheltering in place
- Rendered first aid to 115 persons
- Rescued 67 persons
- Rescued more than 267 animals
- Assisted in the recovery of 115 bodies
- Conducted eight night police operations
- Rendered 104 assists to local police forces
- Conducted 53 force protection / security details
- Investigated 4,028 unanswered 911 calls
- Distributed 2,019 humanitarian deliveries
- Performed 4,134 gross decontaminations
- Performed 190 definitive decontaminations
- Performed three pet decontaminations
- Powerwashed 4,254 vehicles for decontamination purposes
- Assisted in the neutralization of 16 hazardous electrical and natural
- Recovered 24 firearms
- Received and analyzed 59 intelligence reports
- Distributed 1,100 fliers with emergency contact information
Operation LEAD included the following deployments of New Jersey personnel:
- On September 3, the State office of Emergency Management sent to
Louisiana five water rescue teams comprised of 34 personnel from New
Jersey Task Force One (the state's multi-purpose search and rescue
team), the New Jersey State Police, the Passaic County Prosecutor's
Office, and a mechanic from the State Department of Transportation.
Those teams completed their mission September 14.
- On September 7, New Jersey sent its first massive task force to
New Orleans, comprised of 153 police officers from across the state
and 36 hazmat personnel from Essex, Union and Morris counties. Most
of those personnel returned to New Jersey when their replacements
arrived from the deployments of September 17 and 18.
- On September 13, the State sent to Louisiana two hazmat teams comprised
of 12 technicians from the Trenton and Cherry Hill fire departments.
Those deployments lasted 10 days.
- On September 8 and September 14, the State sent a total of three
donations management specialists to the State of Mississippi, to help
the state determine what resources will be needed as the recovery
- On September 17 and 18, New Jersey sent the second massive task
force, comprised of 148 police officers and medical support personnel
from across the state and 25 decontamination personnel. Most of those
personnel returned to New Jersey when their replacements arrived from
the deployments of September 28 and 29.
- On September 28 and 29, New Jersey sent the third massive task force
of 148 police officers and medical support personnel, and 30 decontamination
personnel. Those personnel are returning to New Jersey this week.
Photos taken in and around New Orleans by New Jersey's Operation LEAD
members can be found online at
All deployments were made under the provisions of the Emergency Management
Assistance Compact (EMAC), by which states help each other in times
To make these deployments possible the State Office of Emergency Management,
led by Colonel Fuentes, Lieutenant Colonel William Malast, and Major
John Hunt, worked with groups representing the Department of Health
and Senior Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Military
and Veterans Affairs, the State Fire Marshall, all 21 county offices
of emergency management, all 21 county prosecutors and a host of other
It is anticipated that the states affected by Hurricanes Katrina and
Rita will need further support in the coming months. Those requests
would be made through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, and
the response organized the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.