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Gov. Cuomo says New York State Police Will Absorb State Park Police Officers

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Print View Posted: Sun Dec 08 2019, 06:05pm
Posted by: ipfd320Posts: 1864
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Location: Martin County Florida
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Gov. Cuomo says New York State Police will absorb State Park Police Officers in union-backed move


ALBANY —
Park police who patrol the Empire State’s green spaces and historic sites are being folded into the New York State Police, Gov. Cuomo announced Tuesday.

The governor said significant increases in attendance rates at state parks in recent years necessitated the maneuver, which he believes will make parks safer and save taxpayers money.

“This administration has made unprecedented investments in our park system and with that came unprecedented growth in attendance," Cuomo said. "The current system is indicative of the mentality of the past and with this action we’ll be able to deploy state resources more efficiently and effectively and better respond to any threats to the safety of the 74 million people who visit New York’s parks and historic sites each year.”

A memo sent to State Police superintendent Keith Corlett and Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid from the administration outlined the immediate transfer of control of the roughly 250 officers and the steps needed to complete the merger.

“Complete integration will be accomplished in a sequenced process which maximizes the efficient use of staffing and other resources while keeping the public safe; supports the assumption of all existing Park Police missions by the Division or other first responder organizations; and facilitates the transfer of qualified Park Police Officers to the Division,” wrote Director of State Operations and Infrastructure Kelly Cummings.

A six-month analysis will give both agencies time to assess resources and determine how best to integrate park officers through an abbreviated academy for those who meet current State Police qualifications as well as future applicants.

Language will be included in next year’s budget that will waive the current age requirement to become a trooper and amend other standards, allowing for age-adjusted fitness and vision tests for older park police making the transfer.

Those who choose not to become troopers will remain as park police until “such time as alternative plans are developed or they leave Park Police service,” Cummings wrote.

Park police are often called on to handle large crowds, assist parkgoers, search for and rescue missing persons, make arrests, conduct criminal and non-criminal investigations, and provide emergency services, according to the department’s website.

Park officers respond to around 40,000 calls a year and union reps have long argued that a merger would increase safety at parks, reduce high turnover rates and be a benefit to underpaid officers.

The PBA of NYS has pushed legislation over the last few sessions to accomplish this merger," said Manuel Vilar, the vice president of the Police Benevolent Association of New York State and a veteran Park police sergeant. “As we move forward, we look forward to working closely with the governor’s administration and other stakeholders to ensure the integration works for both Troopers and Park Police Officers for the betterment of both departments, the 74 million people who visit New York State Parks each year and all New York State residents.”

Cuomo and Vilar both noted the consolidation comes as the number of visitors to state parks has skyrocketed in recent years.




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Posted: Fri Jan 17 2020, 11:19pm
Posted by: XtremebiasPosts: 22
Joined: Fri Jan 17 2020, 03:18am

I wonder if Cuomo is considering consolidating MTAPD, NYSBAPD and Encon PD into the fold. Maybe even NYPD as long as de Blasio is mayor.
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