The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is launching a nationwide search to fill the newly-created position of chief security officer.

Whoever is hired will head a new, stand-alone security department that will centralize all safety and security functions across the Port Authority's different departments.

The goals of the new department are to improve coordination and communication internally and between the Port Authority and law enforcement agencies and to increase security efforts at the agency's facilities. These include bridges, tunnels, airports and the redeveloped World Trade Center site.

The creation of the security department was recommended by a consultant group headed by former U.S. Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)