About the New York Port Authority
The Port Authority Police Force was created
in June 1928 when 40 men were selected to police the Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing (then known as the Arthur Kill
These original officers were known
as Bridgemen, nine of whom were later promoted to the rank of Bridgemaster, or Sergeants as we know them today.
As the Port Authority facilities
increased in number, so did its police force. With the opening of the Holland Tunnel in 1927, the three Metropolitan Airports
and Marine Terminal in the 1940's, the force rapidly grew. In the 1950's and 60's, with the metropolitan area moving more
toward mass transportation, the Port Authority Bus Terminal opened. And the Port Authority assumed control of the PATH system
formerly known as The Hudson and Manhattan Tubes. Today the Port Authority Police Force numbers over 1600.
The Port Authority's three major
airports, Newark Liberty International Airport, John F. Kennedy International, and LaGuardia, handle over 80 million air passengers,
over 1.1 million aircraft movements, and over 2.5 million tons of air cargo annually. Policing these aviation facilities involves
a wide variety of duties. Police personnel cover screening points, respond to all aircraft incidents, and aid travelers from
all parts of the world. Escorting and protecting visiting dignitaries is provided for on a daily basis. The President of the
United States, Pope John Paul II, and various other dignitaries and foreign Heads of State attending the United Nations have
all traveled through Port Authority facilities.
The Port Authority Police are also
responsible for fire fighting and crash emergency rescue at the three airports and for all other aircraft emergency incidents.
Police personnel assigned to fire and rescue duty are highly trained in all phases of these functions including the operation
of sophisticated and complex equipment, fire fighting vehicles and water rescue equipment.
Port Authority Marine Terminal facilities
handle thousands of ships, over 14.5 million long tons of cargo per year. Police operations at Port Newark/Elizabeth, and
the Brooklyn Piers include everything from traffic control to the prevention and investigation of cargo thefts.
The Department's headquarters is
located in Jersey City, New Jersey, where managerial and command functions reside.
The nerve center of the force is
the Central Police Desk, which is located at Journal Square. It is staffed around-the-clock and is the hub of the communications
network. There, personnel are assigned to needed areas, all radio transmissions are monitored, and computer terminals are
integrated into the NY & NJ Intelligence and Crime Information Systems as well as the National Crime Information Center
(NCIC) in Washington, D.C. Information received from these sources is supplied to officers in the field when needed.
The Criminal Investigations Bureau
consists of over 100 Detectives and Supervisors that are specifically trained for crimes occurring at transportation facilities.
During the past year the Criminal Investigations Bureau has worked on computerized airline ticket fraud, and property and
drug interdictions. They have seized over 10 million dollars of goods including 35 kilos of narcotics. Additionally, the Criminal
Investigations Bureau has worked cooperatively with Local, State, and Federal agencies in the fight against crime. Some of
these agencies include the New Jersey State Police, the New York City Police Department, United States Customs and Border
Patrol and the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. Members of the Criminal Investigations Bureau also work as part of the
FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force to prevent terrorist activities in the region.
Although our Police Headquarters
located in Jersey City oversee all police operations, the force is organized into individual operating units, or facilities,
each headed by its own facility commander, with each facility being unique.
The PATH system is one of the most intensively
policed-rail transit systems in the world.
Approximately 200,000 passengers
use the PATH system daily. The system's stations are monitored by closed circuit T.V. to aid police personnel in their patrol.
At the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels,
the Bayonne, Goethals, and George Washington Bridges, and the Outerbridge Crossing, the Port Authority Police Officers' duties
are patrol, traffic control, hazardous cargo inspections, truck weigh and emergency services, as well as enforcement for violations
of motor vehicle laws. Police at these crossings have also instituted programs that maintain a constant campaign against drunk
The Port Authority operates the largest
and busiest Bus Terminal in the nation, accommodating 57 million bus passengers and over 2.2 million bus movements in 2001.
Police assignments demand a broad range of functions, everything from locating lost children to aiding everyday commuters.
They are responsible for the general security of the facility utilizing a variety of patrol tactics. Police Officer/Social
Worker teams patrol the Bus Terminal and identify youngsters that may be runaways, throwaways, or missing persons. They provide
crisis intervention counseling, placement with social service agencies, and reunions with families when appropriate.
Port Authority Police Academy recruits
typically receive 20 weeks of intensive training in New York and New Jersey law, behavioral sciences, public relations, police
practices and procedures, laws of arrest, court procedures and testimony. They are also trained in rules of evidence, defensive
tactics, first aid, fire fighting, police patrol and traffic duty, firearms training, defensive and pursuit driving, water
safety and rescue.
Throughout their careers, Port Authority
Police Officers return to the Academy both for refresher courses and for training in new techniques added to the curriculum.
The Koebel Memorial Police Firearms
Training Center is dedicated to the memory of Police Officer Henry J. Koebel, who was killed in the line of duty in May of
1978. The Police Academy utilizes state-of-the-art equipment where the staff operates eighteen shooting ports within this
computerized firearms training facility. Features include moveable target lights and noise controls, shoot/don't shoot situations,
as well as standard marksmanship instruction.
On February 26, 1993 and again on
September 11, 2001 the Port Authority's World Trade Center complex was the target of terrorist attacks. Even though the complex
housed over 50,000 employees and accommodated 70,000 visitors per day, the heroic efforts of the Port Authority Police, the
New York City Police, the New York City Fire Department, New York City EMS, along with countless others helped to minimize
the loss of life. The Port Authority Police suffered the worst loss of Police personnel in a single event in American history.
Thirty seven Police Officers along with one Police K-9 made the ultimate sacrifice on September 11th.
The Port Authority Police force has evolved
through a history of many challenges. They have developed into a force of professional and dedicated men and women always
ready to serve and protect the people who work at and travel through Port Authority facilities.