Special Operations and Planning

Ret. Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor, Detective Mark Weeks, and Freeholder Leonard C. Desidero, Director of Public Safety

The Special Operations and Planning Section was created by Retired Prosecutor Taylor with experienced members of the office assigned to provide coordination and leadership in some of the newly emerging areas of responsibility that the office has been directed to oversee. The Attorney General and the Director of Homeland Security have suggested that a deditcated unit be assigned to this vital role. The planning and mitigation of all hazards, natural or man-made, is the main reason for this unit. As an example of what they do, members of this section were intimately involved in the implementation of a reverse lane or contra-flow strategy on the Garden State Parkway to evacuate residents and visitors of Cape May County during the evacuations for Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene.

Surveillance at a Concert on the Beach

Coordination of the Regional SWAT Team, Crisis Negotiations Unit, and the Prosecutor’s Office Rapid Response Team also fall under the responsibilities of this unit. This unit works closely with these and many state and national agencies to draft and implement response techniques to serious incidents. This includes a Critical Infrastructure Coordinator and Domestic Preparedness Planner to mitigate any potential hazards. They constantly are in communication with every local/municipal police department and school (public and private) to share information and develop corresponding response techniques. Homeland Security, preparedness, planning and response as well as terrorism incidents are investigations that are conducted under by this unit.

Cape May County's Mobile Incident Command Truck

Cape May County’s Mobile Incident Command Truck

The Special Operations and Planning Section are responsible for the Mobile Incident Command Truck. This truck is used for special events, such as major concert or sporting events, and for a wide variety emergencies. This state of the vehicle has the capability to monitor live data and coordinate response while being a central hub for responding officers to evaluate the situation and make decisions. This vehicle was purchased by allotted funds through the Department of Homeland Security so the county can carry out this important mission. The truck is also regularly inspected and maintained to insure working operation whenever it is needed.

Also part of the section is a detective assigned to internal affairs investigations involving criminal complaints against municipal police officers. If a criminal complaint arises, the complaint can be taken at any police department and this unit may be assigned to this unit.