The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has welcomed 151 new officers to the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) following the graduation of its 121st police academy class at St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen, N.J. The graduating class included 30 women, representing the highest number of female recruits in a PAPD class in the police force’s history.
Additionally, the new class was also PAPD’s most diverse in its history, fully representing the rich diversity of the region that the Port Authority serves. Their additions to the PAPD further advance the agency’s continued commitment to a diverse police force reflecting the communities of New York and New Jersey that host the agency’s facilities. The graduating class included 130 college graduates; 20 military veterans; 84 with prior law enforcement experience; and 13 with both military and prior law enforcement service. With the new class, the agency’s police workforce now totals 2,040 members who secure the agency’s widespread portfolio of infrastructure assets.
As part of their 26 weeks of training in one of the most rigorous police academies in the country, the recruits studied New York and New Jersey laws, received comprehensive instruction in police procedures, firearms usage, first aid, LGBTQ sensitivity training and counterterrorism techniques.
“These young men and women are among the best of the best in their chosen profession, and we are pleased to welcome them to the Port Authority family,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The PAPD is tasked with policing and protecting some of the most critical infrastructure assets in the nation. They have received top notch training in all aspects of law enforcement and are ready and eager to serve.”
“Safety and security are paramount to the Port Authority’s mission, and this new class of police officers will play a critical role in protecting our facilities,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “This diverse class of new officers have taken an oath to protect and defend the public to the best of their ability and we welcome them to the force.”
“The PAPD is among the finest police agencies in the nation, and we believe these recruits are up to the task of upholding this force’s storied legacy and reputation built over its past decades of public service,” said Port Authority Chief Security Officer Greg Ehrie. “We are particularly proud that this class reflects our strengthened recruitment initiatives among women, because female police officers bring a unique perspective to the law enforcement field. The addition to these new 30 female officers will help improve our policing efforts within the communities that we serve.”
“Our recruits undergo an extensive amount of training in all aspects of police work, and we are proud to have them join our force and begin their law enforcement careers,” said Port Authority Police Superintendent Edward Cetnar. “These officers come from a diverse background, as it is important for our force to reflect the communities that we serve.”
Established in 1928, the PAPD is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the agency’s air, land, rail, and sea facilities, which include the New York and New Jersey airports, six bridges and tunnels, the Midtown Bus Terminal, the PATH rail system, the Port of New York and New Jersey and the 16-acre World Trade Center campus. In addition to patrol officers, the PAPD is comprised of a special operations division that includes a counter-terrorism unit, a K-9 unit, an emergency service unit, a commercial vehicle inspection unit and a motorcycle unit.