The Public Safety Unit (PSU) enhances New York State's counter terrorism posture, by:
- Facilitating and supporting counter terrorism prevention activities across the state
- Promoting and supporting law enforcement operations designed to enhance public safety, border security, and public security
- Conducting outreach to target audiences and the general public regarding counter terrorism and homeland security programs
- Conducting activities to engage the public safety community in intelligence and information sharing
- Providing support to the NYS Office of Emergency Management during disasters and emergencies
- Facilitating and supporting counter terrorism trainings and exercises for state and local law enforcement officers
- Conducting outreach to strengthen partnerships between state agencies and law enforcement at all levels
- Providing subject matter expertise to aid in the development of training programs, workshops, and exercises
Red Team exercises are pre-planned, unannounced exercises conducted in each of New York's 16 Counter Terrorism Zones (CTZs) by law enforcement and homeland security personnel, who engage in "suspicious activity" to "test" whether the state's "See Something Say Something" message is reaching owners and operators for critical infrastructure and certain business sectors. Locations to be tested and scenarios are determined based on the current threat environment and intelligence reports, in conjunction with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement. The goal of the Red Teams is to evaluate and enhance the effectiveness of New York State's suspicious activity reporting programs, encourage facility security and target hardening, and promote citizen awareness. Red Teams significantly strengthen statewide partnerships between OCT, law enforcement, local communities, and the private sector.
PSU coordinates outreach by:
- Providing Operation Safeguard outreach materials for the State Fair, law enforcement, and for private and public sector partners throughout the State;
- Providing subject matter expertise to develop public safety content for counter terrorism materials, including training videos and advisory posters;
- Conducting suspicious activity awareness training to businesses and infrastructure partners;
- Attending/presenting at conferences and public safety panels.
Intelligence and Information Sharing
The Public Safety Unit supports statewide intelligence and information sharing in the following ways:
- Coordinates the Intelligence Liaison Officer (ILO) Program - including the annual ILO conference - in conjunction with the Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) and the NYS Intelligence Center (NYSIC). The ILO Program provides Fire and EMS first responders with counter terrorism and responder safety information and education.
- Serves as the Emergency Services liaison to the NYSIC;
- Develops and disseminates the weekly and quarterly CrossFIRE intelligence products for Fire and EMS first responders; in conjunction with the NYSIC;
- Maintains a database of incidents targeting Fire/EMS first responders and analyzes data for notable trends and lessons learned to share with the responder community.
Regional/Border Security Initiatives
The Public Safety Unit supports a range of regional and border security initiatives through funding, coordination, and promotion, including:
- Strategic Police Intelligence Driven Enforcement Response (SPIDER) Operations - SPIDER Operations bring local, county, state, tribal and federal law enforcement stakeholders together to test border security capabilities and identify potential gaps for future corrective actions.
- Operation Stonegarden - Federally-funded program that invests in joint efforts to secure the U.S. borders.
- Radiological Interdiction Programs - Border security exercises that trains first responders on illicit radiological source detection, interdiction, and identification to prevent or mitigate the threat of a radiological attack.
Training and Exercises
The Public Safety Unit provides funding, coordination, and subject matter expertise for trainings, exercises, and prevention activities statewide, including:
- Specialized counter terrorism trainings for first responders, such as blast schools, explosive detection canine trainings, WMD tactical operations, and tactical team and bomb squad trainings;
- Radiological interdiction, identification, and response trainings;
- Specialized training courses and exercises hosted by the State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC) in Oriskany, NY, such as the annual Excelsior Challenge.
Enhanced Security Guard Training Tax Credit
Under the Enhanced Security Guard Tax Credit Program, certain qualified building owners who own buildings 500,000 square feet or more that are protected by qualified and trained security guards may claim a credit against the tax imposed by article 9-A of the Tax Law. See the link below for more information, including application materials.
Video Surveillance Access Database
What is the Video Surveillance Access Database?
On January 28, 2013 a new law became effective in the State of New York that allows residential home owners and business owners to voluntarily register their video surveillance cameras for use by law enforcement agencies for the purposes of a criminal investigation. The program allows residential home owners and businesses to register their video surveillance equipment through an online form.
If I am registered, will the general public be able to see my personal information?
No, all information is held confidential and your information will only be used for internal Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services (DHSES) official business and will only be shared with law enforcement, upon request, for purposes of a criminal investigation.
How will law enforcement be able to access my information? Will I be contacted by DHSES or law enforcement?
A law enforcement agent conducting a criminal investigation will request information on any video surveillance cameras that may be registered that relates to a criminal investigation. With that information the law enforcement agent will then contact those individuals to ask for permission to view, use and/or borrow the video surveillance images. The law enforcement agent will make the request through an established Division of Criminal Justice Services process.
What if I no longer wish to be registered? Can I remove my information?
At any point in time, the residential home owner or business may withdraw their information from the video surveillance access database by completing the withdrawal form. Please allow 5 business days to complete the withdrawal process.
Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
For more information or comments, please contact Video Surveillance Registry Administrator
Where can I go to read the law?
To read the language of the law as it was incorporated into the New York State Executive Law Article 26 please use the link below.
- §718, Voluntary surveillance access database
Under Laws of New York, search Bill Number S7775 in the year 2012