FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 15-89
October 23, 2015
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New Class of Environmental Police Officers Join Ranks to Protect New York City’s Water Supply
DEP Police Protect Critical Infrastructure and Drinking Water Supply for Nearly Half of State’s Residents
Photos of the Graduation are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page
New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd today presided over a graduation ceremony for 13 new Environmental Police Officers (EPO) who have successfully completed 31 weeks of training at DEP’s Environmental Police Academy. The EPOs will immediately be deployed to protect New York City’s 2,000 square mile watershed and critical infrastructure across nine counties that supply roughly half of New York State’s population with reliable, high quality drinking water. DEP’s Environmental Police Academy was launched in 2002, as the first-of-its-kind in the nation to provide training, experience and concentrated course work in advanced environmental law. The new EPOs, who reside in 8 different counties and speak five different languages, completed intense training in counterterrorism, the environment, police science, the use of firearms, and defensive tactics. In addition, they completed courses in environmental conservation law, land navigation, fish and wildlife science and watershed protection. Today’s ceremony took place at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston, NY.
“A safe and reliable supply of high quality drinking water is the lifeblood of New York City,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “I am proud to welcome our newest class of Environmental Police Officers to the ranks of a force with more than a century of tradition and accomplishment. Welcome to the DEP Police.”
The graduating class named EPO Adam Henry, as the class leader and EPOs Graham Eickelberg and Mohaideen Galalzay as squad leaders. During the graduation ceremony several EPOs were given awards for their outstanding performance during the training. EPO Daniel Curtis received the Academic Proficiency Award; EPO David Brown received the Physical Fitness Award; EPO Graham Eickelberg received the Firearms Proficiency Award; and EPO Mohaideen Galalzay received Best Overall Officer Award.
The complete list of graduates and their home counties:
Ioannis Alexatos, Queens; Brian Anderson, Nassau; John Nicholas Arce, Manhattan; David Brown, Bronx; Daniel Curtis, Westchester; Graham Eickelberg, Suffolk; Mohaideen Galalzay, Nassau; Adam Henry, Westchester; Colin Houlihan, Westchester; Nino Kalmeta, Rockland; Rebeca Rodriguez, Queens; Michael Stallone, Dutchess; Emmanuel Tejada, the Bronx.
The Bureau of Water Supply (BWS) Police was created through legislation enacted in the 1906 Water Supply Act. In 1907 the first provisional appointees were hired and on July 9, 1908, the first permanent police officers were appointed and assigned to precincts in Peekskill, Garrison, Browns Station, and High Falls. The BWS Police was the first police agency in upstate New York with a multiple county jurisdiction. In 1983, BWS became the Department of Environmental Protection and the New York State Legislature revised the Criminal Procedure Law, part of New York State Law, to include DEP police officers. In 1999, DEP’s jurisdiction was extended to include the five boroughs of New York City. In 2004, the highest court in the state, the New York State Court of Appeals, affirmed the DEP Police Department's jurisdiction throughout the watershed. Members of the DEP Police are New York State certified police officers, the department maintains jurisdiction in a total of 14 counties and has a full-time Aviation Unit, Emergency Services Unit, Marine Patrol, K-9 Patrol, and Detective Bureau.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.4 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. This capital program is responsible for critical projects like City Water Tunnel No. 3; the Staten Island Bluebelt program, an ecologically sound and cost-effective stormwater management system; the city’s Watershed Protection Program, which protects sensitive lands upstate near the city’s reservoirs in order to maintain their high water quality; and the installation of more than 820,000 Automated Meter Reading devices, which allow customers to track their daily water use, more easily manage their accounts, and be alerted to potential leaks on their properties. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.