The FBI New York’s JTTF Prepared for New Year’s Eve Celebration
|FBI New York January 01, 2010|
Photo credit: FBI New York
Starting early in the day on December 31, 2009 and going into the early hours of the New Year on January 1, 2010, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies, conducted security operations in light of the New Year’s Eve celebration in New York City. The New Year’s Eve event in Times Square is a special event of top priority for the FBI in New York. The FBI deployed more than 100 agents, analysts, professional staff, and task force members working throughout the night to assist with security efforts, and was in place to enact the FBI’s Crisis Response Plan (CRP) in the event of a terrorist incident. Sharing of information and intelligence took place at the FBI's JTTF Command Post, staffed by FBI personnel along with representatives from the NYPD, PAPD, DHS, and numerous other agencies. Our response teams, including the Crisis Response Team (CRT), Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Evidence Response Team (ERT), Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT), Crisis Negotiators Unit (CNU), Special Agent Bomb Technicians (SABT), Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Operational Medicine, and other investigators were deployed to staging areas throughout the city. The FBI’s Crisis Management Unit (CMU), Special Events Management Unit (SEMU), and Office of Public Affairs (OPA) were also on hand.
This is the same type of proactive response the FBI has participated in for years past and our working relationship with the NYPD and our other partners is what has made this an ongoing success. All teams involved in this evening’s operation met at the JTTF’s Joint Operations Center (JOC) for an all hands meeting before dispersing throughout the city to their designated staging areas, or remaining in the JOC to ensure representation in the Command Post (CP) and coordinate communication between all entities.
Special Agent in Charge (SAC) David Cardona and ASAC Richard Frankel maintained a presence in the JOC overlooking the operation. ASAC Frankel kicked off the meeting by saying, “The JTTF is fully embedded with the NYPD and prepared to respond to any threat or incident that may occur.” SAC Cardona added, “The FBI is positioned to launch the Crisis Response Plan in the event it is necessary.”
Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Chuck Berger, Mobile Command Post Supervisor, addressed JOC members during the briefing by saying, “This evening’s operation has been carefully planned to ensure the safety of New York City and its citizens. All components are in place and ready to go.”
Special Agent (SA), and SEMU Coordinator Jonathan Gilliam described the responsibilities of this unit as follows, “Our unit acts as a liaison between the FBI, JTTF members, and the NYPD. We work with every facet of the FBI and our partners to create a comprehensive operational plan for the critical areas in and around an event and New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest events we have.”
Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) Stan Ragen spoke about the role of Crisis Management. "The CMU provides FBI enhanced and specialized assets to respond to, investigate, and resolve crisis or significant events of FBI jurisdictional interest. This was an important event and we are extremely satisfied with the success of the operation."
Operational Medical Coordinator and Advanced Capability Paramedic for CMU, SA John Woodill, added, “Tactical medicine provides advanced field medical care to personnel and is critical to FBI operations.” SA Duane Kuizema and SA Pat O’Brien are coordinators for HAZMAT/WMD. In describing the joint responsibilities of these teams, SA O’Brien said, “The FBI New York JTTF and WMD/HAZMAT’s posture for a special event such as New Year's Eve is both proactive and reactive. Proactively, the NYO WMD Program deploys WMD detection equipment and conducts surveys for WMD materials. Reactively, the NYO Hazardous Materials Response Team (HMRT) is staged in the vicinity of the event in order to rapidly begin operations should a WMD event occur.”
SA Pete Licata, SABT Coordinator, commented, “Our bomb techs worked closely with the NYPD bomb squad and were prepared to assist with explosives-related matters in the event such a need would arise. FBI and NYPD teams responded to several suspicious packages during the event, and all turned out to be harmless. All teams worked well together to ensure quick coordination.”
The Times Square New Year’s Eve event is a major focus for the NYO Swat Team. SA Dan Fethiere added, “Throughout the year, we work hard to handle unusually dangerous situations. Although this year’s celebration in Times Square was safe and successful, the NYO SWAT team was prepared for any incident that would have come our way.”
Acting Supervisory Intelligence Analyst (SIA) Summer Ives said, “As an analyst working in the JOC, it is our role to fuse all intelligence information from numerous sources.”
SA Kathy Flynn, CNU Coordinator, said, “Negotiators are trained to disrupt, prevent and defeat terrorist and criminal related hostage takings against American interests. We were on hand to provide assistance in the event it was necessary. Although the need did not arise, I am proud to be a member of this incredible team of qualified individuals.”
In speaking about ERT’s role, Coordinator SA Liz Rosato offered the following, “The Evidence Response Team, as a critical element of the Crisis Management Squad, supports the FBI/Special Events mission by managing crime scenes, identifying and collecting evidence, and providing advanced forensic expertise at the scene. We were ready to act at a moment’s notice on New Year’s Eve.”
OPA representative Adrienne Senatore, stationed in the JOC for the operation, said, “The job of
OPA is to keep leadership and operational components updated on public affairs issues and respond to media inquiries throughout the evening.”
SA Anne Beagan, also from OPA, added, “Although much preparation goes into an event such as this, everyone arrives prepared and ready to assist should an incident arise.”
JOC Supervisor, SSA Kristy Kottis, managed communication between all operational components. In describing the function of the CP, SSA Kottis said, “The JOC maintains overall situational awareness during major events and provides periodic updates to executive management so they can make operational decisions.”
Public Affairs Specialist Rebecca Callahan added, "Photographing all of the different elements of the New York Field Office made for a challenging and interesting night."
|NYPD Public Info Officer Sgt. Joe Gallagher and EOC Commander Harry Weiden briefing FBI SSA Richard Kolko at NYPD Emergency Command Center
Photo credit: FBI New York
NYPD Sergeant Daniel Baldwin, assigned to the JTTF Assessment Squad, was also on hand yesterday evening and stated, “The JTTF Assessment Squad manages FBI/NYPD assets during joint JTTF operations.”
Assistant Chief Harry Weiden, Commander of the NYPD Emergency Operations Center (EOC) said, "The NYPD EOC was up and running as it is for every major event. The information sharing among the numerous agencies was seamless and the event was a success."
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) representative to the NYPD and JTTF, Marty Foncello, said “We are here to work with the intelligence community to coordinate the sharing of information and intelligence from national to state and local levels.”
SSA Richard Kolko, spokesman for the FBI in New York, said, “Members of the JTTF and FBI were prepared to respond in the event of a crisis. Great measures are taken to prepare for events such as this evening’s New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square. I feel confident that we have displayed the level of dedication and professionalism exhibited by our law enforcement entities. Working with the media during the event is critical in keeping the public apprised of any crisis situations.”
FBI Assistant Director in Charge (ADIC) Joseph Demarest added, “This evening’s operation is a clear example of the successful, collaborative efforts between the NYPD, the JTTF and the entire FBI team here in New York. The partnership that exists between the FBI, JTTF and NYPD is essential as we join together with a common goal, to protect the city and citizens’ of New York from those who wish to do us harm. I am proud of all team members who participated in this evening’s event, in addition to everyone who has worked hard throughout the year to ensure the safety of this great city. Here’s to a job well done and many future successes in 2010.”
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