January 19, 2021
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Announces Multi-Agency Rail Safety Drills
Operation NY S.E.C.U.R.E.: Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, New York State Police, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies Join Amtrak and MTA Police to Secure the Empire Corridor and Long Island Railroad
Law Enforcement Teams Have Conducted 143 NY S.E.C.U.R.E. Drills Statewide Since 2018
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services today announced multi-station “Operation NY S.E.C.U.R.E.” (Securing the Empire Corridor by Unifying Regional Efforts) safety drills will occur at train stations on Amtrak’s Empire Line January 21 and on the Long Island Railroad January 22. Now in its fourth year, this program plays a critical role in promoting cooperation between law enforcement agencies on rail lines and improving their capabilities to respond to actual emergencies. Since the program’s inception in 2018, law enforcement teams have conducted 143 drills across the state.
Participating agencies include the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services; the New York State Police; New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police; Amtrak Police and numerous other local law enforcement agencies and federal rail safety counterparts.
New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy said, “Keeping New Yorkers safe while they travel on the state’s rail system is a top priority. These safety drills allow law enforcement agencies to practice coordinating a response to potential emergencies, as well as provide a visible deterrent to those planning nefarious activity. As always, travelers and the public need to remember, if you see something, say something.”
During these drills, officers perform counter-terrorism response activities, as well as incident response exercises at passenger train stations and along the right-of-way on Amtrak’s Empire Corridor rail system. During this time there will be heightened platform patrols, explosive detection canine sweeps, increased security presence onboard trains, and a visible proactive law enforcement presence throughout the railway system.
Operation NY S.E.C.U.R.E. drills will take place at the following stations:
Long Island Railroad:
State Police Acting Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen said, “Planning, coordination and training are critically important to ensure first responders are ready to work hand-in-hand to mitigate any emergency situation. These drills are an invaluable part of our efforts to protect transportation infrastructure and keep New Yorkers safe.”
Phil Eng, President of the Long Island Rail Road said, “I’ve joined Homeland Security and emergency responders in the past when they were at LIRR stations and seen firsthand how this collaborative team across agencies is helping to keep our riders safe and feeling confident that they can safely travel. “This presence is a strong deterrent and lets the public know our courageous first responders are always patrolling to keep them safe.”
Metro-North President Catherine Rinaldi said, “These exercises are an important way to further affirm and strengthen Metro-North's commitment to safety and security as the region deals with new challenges and emergencies. We appreciate the heroic efforts of the MTA police, Homeland Security and local law enforcement for conducting these necessary drills."
MTA Police Chief Joseph McGrann said, “"As a department responsible for securing a major transportation network we must continue to practice specialized safety exercises and be able to best handle emergency situations. The MTA PD is thankful to take part in these rail safety drills that help us sharpen our counter-terrorism and incident response skills.”
Amtrak Police Department Deputy Chief of Police Martin Conway said, “Safety is Amtrak's top priority - whether it is on a train, at a station, or on our right of way. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure the safety of our customers, employees and infrastructure. We look forward to continued collaboration with New York State Police, MTA, local police, and the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services on this exercise, as well as on new initiatives in the future."
About the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services provides leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or Instagram, or visit dhses.ny.gov.