New Website Will Float Their Boats
West Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey
State Police Marine Services Unit is launching a new tool
in the fight to keep the state’s boaters and coastal
citizens safe. No, it’s not a new ship; they’re
launching a website. Fully activated late Monday, March 13,
2006, the site is packed with critical information to assist
the state’s boaters in the enjoyment of their pastimes,
or the pursuit of their careers. The site can be accessed
from the homepage of the New Jersey State Police website
“ New Jersey is almost completely surrounded by water,” said
Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State
Police. “We must do everything we can to raise the
safety and security effectiveness for all our citizens who
work and recreate on our state’s waterways.”
“This site will help accomplish two major objectives,” said
Captain Mike Scarpone, Chief of the Marine Services Bureau. “It
gives boaters a way to answer their questions about the new
licensing requirements and it enlists the boating public
in the fight against crime and terrorism on the water.”
Marine Bureau personnel estimate that 95% of the phone
calls they receive involve questions about the new boat safety
certificate requirements. Top billing on the new front page
is given to information about a State Police option for experienced
boaters to “test out” of the new requirements
without taking an instructional course. Under the “Frequently
Asked Questions” section, Internet visitors can find
links to the major providers of training courses. Other pages
outline the demands of the new law as they apply to boaters
of various ages.
The second major feature of the website is a new security
program named the Maritime Security Initiative. The MSI is
the idea of Tpr. Perry Capiak, who, after spending time with
the State Police Community Partnership Branch, saw the need
to strengthen the trooper’s ties with the boating community.
The eyes and ears of the boaters and businesses that support
them are a huge asset through which troopers can collect
intelligence to better protect the public.
Tips on suspicious activity can be placed by email link
or over the phone to a toll-free tip line. The MSI itself
has been in use for one year and numerous useful tips have
come in since that time. An important component of the MSI
is training. Troopers have spoken at many public meetings to train boaters
on what types of behaviors should be clues to suspicious activity. The website
also outlines the things to watch for.
Several boating businesses have expressed interest in supporting the
MSI by placing prominent links on their websites. The first to supply
such a link is bassbarn.com, a saltwater fishing information source.
Troopers are hopeful that as the MSI gains momentum, that the incoming
tips will help reduce crime and provide terrorism leads to be investigated
by State Police and federal authorities.
The State Police Intelligence Bureau is an integral part of the MSI.
Tips about significant crimes and potential terrorist activity are entered
into the Statewide Intelligence Management System, a computer-based search
program that links connected people and events. These potential leads
are run through SIMS by the troopers manning the 24-hour Regional Operations
Intelligence Center at Division Headquarters.
The new site also features a new “Ask a Trooper” feature
through which member of the public can ask law enforcement questions
about boating. The photo for this link features Tpr. Perry Capiak, Sgt.
Bill Addis and Sgt. Paul Jenkins who were all important to the development
of the ideas behind the website.
Also critical to the site are the webmasters from the State Police
Information Technology Bureau who continue to add important information.
Upcoming additions to the Marine Services website will include recent
stories of lifesaving deeds by the marine troopers and photo albums of
the various State Police watercraft.
NOTE: Troopers will be available upon request to speak about the
new website, including water safety certificate requirements and the
NJSP Marine Services Web site
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