In July 2015 the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department announced the re-creation of the Marine Operations Bureau. Originally created in 1908 with the start of the department’s history, the department has long been responsible for patrols in the Hudson River from Edgewater New Jersey into New York State. Responses have ranged from maritime only in nature to also land emergencies such as lost and injured hikers as well as rescues and recoveries from the cliff side.
Members of the M.O.B. undergo 120 hours of Vessel Operator Training and each member of the department undergoes a Basic Marine Law Enforcement Course. This allows anyone to respond to an emergency regardless of their assignment to the bureau. Additional training is also offered to the members to advanced their professional development in maritime public safety.
The 120 hours is divided between night and day time hours. It includes intenstive hands-on training in not only vessel operation, but mechanics, rescue and enforcement operations, docking, mooring, and line procedures, personnel transfers in motion, navigation, and area familiarization. The Basic Marine Law Enforcement Course is instructed by the NJ State Police and is NASBLA approved.
In the spring of 2015, with the much appreciated assistance of the NJ State Police Marine Services Bureau, the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department accepted the transfer of four vessels each equipped with motors. This allowed the Department to quickly get the new unit off the ground and available for public safety response in a very short amount of time.
The transfer consisted of two (2) Twenty-Five (25) foot Sea Ark and two (2) eighteen (18) foot Boston Whaler vessels each equipped with 200hp Evenrude E-Tech motors. Each vessel was outfitted with communications and technology gear as well as equipment for maritime operations and public safety missions.
The Marine Operations Bureau responds anywhere there is a public safety need and primarily conducts patrol operations between North Bergen New Jersey and the Tappanzee Bridge in New York. The unit currently operates in a part time status in which there are regular patrols but not full time dedicated staff. The part time status also allows for emergency call out responses to the area. Upon the completion of training, a more dedicated patrol operation will take shape.
The Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department NJ Headquarters monitors Marine Channel 16 for response and hailing. Should an emergency exist within the patrol area, mariners may reach out to this agency for assistance.
Maritime Security Initiative
This department also takes part in the Regional Maritime Security Initiative funded by the Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of the Initiative is to assist the land and maritime communities with the knowledge and ability to detect and deter criminal or terrorist activities. In August of 2015, the United States Coast Guard entered into a formal agreement with the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department strengthening the committment to this initiative. Officers provide security and support services to the US Coast Guard during regional planned or emergency events.
For more information on the Maritime Security Initiative, please contact the Marine Operations Bureau at 201-768-6001 or visit the NJ State Police Website here: http://www.njsp.org/maritime/msi.html
Rules and Regulations:
Operators of vessels in the region should pay particular attention to the New Jersey Statutes 12, 13, and 23 laws as well as Federal boating regulations. All of which are enforced by this agency. NY Boaters (east side of channel adjacent to New Jersey or from Rockland County north) please visit: http://www.boat-ed.com/abc/abc_specific_images/pdfs/ny_law.pdf.