STATEMENT: Gottheimer Statement on Port Authority Combating Human Trafficking
Today, Saturday, February 1, 2020, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) released the following statement:
In the fight against human trafficking, we rely fully on — and have the utmost confidence in — the hardworking law enforcement officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department. The Port Authority Police Department is the nation’s largest transportation law enforcement department, policing Teterboro Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, the NY Bus Terminal, PATH trains, all bridges and tunnels between New York and New Jersey, and the World Trade Center properties. These brave first responders serve on the front lines at major ports of entry and critical transportation infrastructure, protecting our region day in and day out against serious criminal and security threats like terrorism and human trafficking.
At the Port Authority’s Midtown New York Bus Terminal, the force has a renowned Youth Services Unit, which has successfully combated human trafficking, recovering thousands of missing children and displaced and abused adolescents, often in coordination with the FBI. I would encourage expansion of this program so that all 1,800 sworn law enforcement officers of the Port Authority properties including those patrolling all four airports, PATH trains, and the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, receive critical training from this Unit. The Port Authority’s Youth Services Unit should serve as a national model for protecting many vulnerable people who pass through our nation’s transportation infrastructure, so that local law enforcement can be properly trained as we see incidents of human trafficking increase substantially.