About the New York Port Authority Police Department
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 Bridge).
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
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 driving.
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.