National security threats often rooted in local crime
Speaking on emerging issues in homeland security at the New Jersey Homeland Security and Preparedness Conference at Monmouth University, Hoffman said even traditional crime can be linked to national security issues.
"For instance, to what degree are terrorist organizations dealing with gun running or illegal gun purchases," Hoffman said. "To what degree are they funded by illegal drug purchases? We're trying to make sure we take a multidisciplinary perspective towards this."
One of the most important factors, according to the attorney general, is to make sure valuable information isn't lost between law enforcement agencies, especially when dealing with cases that could have wider national security implications. In New Jersey, such agencies include the state Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, headed by Dr. Christopher Rodriguez, and the New Jersey State Police.
"I speak with Director Rodriguez and (NJSP Superintendent) Col. (Rick) Fuentes on a daily basis," Hoffman said. "We have coordinated working groups that deal with these issues."
The working groups allow law enforcement personnel to cooperate on both regional and state levels.
"I think we have all come to realize that the only way to be effective in fighting crime or terrorism is collaborating and leveraging resources," Hoffman said.
However, cybercrime remains the biggest threat law enforcement deals with on a regular basis.
"There are literally hundreds of thousands of hits into the system, trying to access New Jersey's system," Hoffman said.
He said that while almost all of the attacks are blocked, New Jersey is constantly upgrading its defenses to protect against hackers.