County Working Group

County Working Group

New Jersey is cognizant of the need to include all relevant disciplines in the process of homeland security planning. In order to include and encourage the active involvement of pertinent participants in all 21 of New Jersey's counties, a multi-discipline working group has been established. The County Working Group (CWG) has been charged with the responsibility of creating a county homeland security strategic plan, identifying county needs, prioritizing homeland security projects and developing operational and implementation plans for each project.

Creation of a CWG was a requirement established by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General (designated state administrative agency - SAA) in order to receive local share pass thru dollars under the Homeland Security Grant Program. The CWG was initially established to facilitate the planning function in identifying county shortfalls that could be supported by their State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) award to respond and mitigate a large scale emergency.

The CWG has continued to remain a requirement in order to receive local pass thru dollars of the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) and will for future grant awards. The CWG is staffed with representatives from the various disciplines of first responders and key representatives of the county government structure. The membership roster listed below is believed to reflect the core disciplines needed to effectively and intelligently discuss the issues relating to prevention, protection, mitigation and recovery/response to a terrorist attack. As needs and situations dictate, counties may add to the membership.

The CWG is minimally comprised of the following:

  • Chairperson Passaic County Prosecutor
  • County Counter-Terrorism Coordinator
  • Emergency Management Coordinator
  • County Fire Coordinator
  • County Police Chief's Association Representative
  • County Health Department Representative
  • Hazardous Materials Team Representative
  • County Administration / Freeholder
  • Fiscal Officer
  • County Hospital / EMS Representative
  • Representative from the two most populated towns/cities
  • (Paterson and Clifton)
  • County Domestic Preparedness Planner
  • County Critical Infrastructure Coordinator

The members of the CWG meet monthly to prioritize and develop the strategies and spending plan proposals based upon the needs and information they receive from their respective disciplines. The CWG serves as the forum for open dialogue and discussion between the various disciplines and county government. This is the group that provides the capacity for the disciplines within their respective county to respond to an act of terrorism and, more importantly, design the preventive measures to detect, delay, devalue or deny terrorists the opportunity or means to attack. Working together the members determine needs, coordinate activities, and monitor the implementation of homeland security initiatives. Regional coordinators from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness attend CWG meetings, as well as meetings of the various disciplines represented on the CWG, to provide guidance to the county, aid in the formation of grant applications, and foster regional thinking.

Members of the county working group inform their constituency groups, municipalities, and disciplines they represent of the CWG's activities, priorities and progress and are charged with keeping the lines of communication open. They serve as the conduit of information in this "bottoms up" planning approach. Coordination, cooperation, communication, and clarity are all paramount and essential to the success, effectiveness, and efficiency of the CWG. Their collective efforts greatly contribute to our state's enhanced level of preparedness and homeland security.

The Passaic County Working Group
Chairperson: Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes
Contact Person: Executive First Assistant Prosecutor, James P. Berado

Goals and Objectives of The CWG


  • Enhance the county’s intelligence and information collection, analysis, sharing and dissemination capabilities to provide durable, reliable, actionable, timely and effective information and intelligence in a multijurisdictional and multidisciplinary environment.


  • Reduce the vulnerability and the risk of a terrorist attack on critical infrastructure and key resources by developing protective plans and implementing preventative programs.

  • Enhance government’s capacity/capabilities to reduce the risk of a terrorist attack and ensure continuity of government during and after an event by developing viable and effective plans.


  • Enhance New Jersey’s first responder preparedness using the Preparedness Cycle: Plan; Organize, Train, & Equip; Exercise; and Evaluate & Improve.

  • Strengthen communications (voice, data and information) and emergency notification/warning capabilities.
  • Strengthen health and healthcare response capabilities so that injured, ill, exposed populations are rapidly and appropriately cared for or protected.

  • Enhance regional collaboration to develop partnerships across multiple jurisdictions to build and share capabilities

  • Restore infrastructure and other government services to the impacted area.

  • Restore quality of life to impacted populations with minimal delay.

    To arrange for a Security Threat Assessment at your facility please contact UASI Risk Mitigation Planner Denis Doohan at AND Detective First Grade Nancy Petrara-Stafyleras at