FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16-09
February 19, 2016
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Department of Environmental Protection Promotes Eight Veteran Members of Police Division
Ceremony Also Marks the Retirement of Capt. Eugene Sass, who Served for 21 Years
Photos of the Ceremony are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today promoted eight veteran environmental police officers during a ceremony at the Staff Sgt. Robert H. Dietz DEP Police Academy in Kingston, N.Y. One lieutenant was promoted to captain, three sergeants were promoted to lieutenant, and four officers were promoted to sergeant. The promoted officers reside in Brooklyn, Broome, Delaware, Dutchess, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties. The ceremony also marked the retirement of Capt. Eugene Sass, a 21-year veteran of the DEP Police Division who was admired and respected by his colleagues, watershed residents and elected leaders in communities around the water supply system. Over the last decade, DEP has nearly doubled the size of its Police Division to its current 190 sworn members.
“New Yorkers are fortunate to have a highly skilled, trained and dedicated police force to protect our water supply system and the lands that surround it,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “I want to extend my sincere thanks to Capt. Eugene Sass for his long and distinguished career with the DEP Police, and my congratulations to the eight veteran officers who earned their promotions today.”
The DEP Police Division was established more than 100 years ago. It is charged with protecting the city’s water supply system, which includes more than 2,000 square miles of watershed land across nine counties, hundreds of miles of tunnels and aqueducts, 14 wastewater treatment plants, laboratories, and chlorination facilities. DEP police patrol the watershed by foot, bicycle, all-terrain vehicle, motorcycle, boat and helicopter. They also maintain specially trained units that include a detective bureau, emergency service unit, canine unit and aviation unit.
The following lieutenant was promoted to captain:
Capt. Christian R. Gallagher was appointed to the DEP Police in July 2001, and began his career on patrol in the Neversink Precinct. He was selected for the Emergency Services Unit and has been assigned to the unit since its inception in 2003 and has served as a precision rifleman, assistant team leader and team leader. He was promoted to Sergeant in March 2007 and lieutenant in April 2011. He currently serves as the Grahamsville Precinct Commanding Officer. Prior to his service with the DEP Police, he served on active duty with the U.S. Army for eight years as a light infantryman. He also served in the New York Army National Guard for 12 years until his recent retirement.
The following sergeants were promoted to lieutenants:
Lt. Randall Hurlbert was appointed to the DEP Police in December 2003, and began his career in the Patrol Division reporting out of the Croton Precinct. In January 2006 he was selected for and transferred to the Special Operations Division, Aviation Unit. He was promoted to Sergeant in December 2012 and currently serves as the Aviation Unit Sergeant. Lt. Hurlbert attended Dutchess Community College for Business Administration.
Lt. Patrick Natale was appointed to the DEP Police in September 1999, and began his career in the Patrol Division reporting out of the Downsville Precinct. He was promoted to Sergeant in January 2003. He currently serves as a Patrol Sergeant out of the Beerston precinct; he previously worked out of the Chief of Operations Office. Lt. Natale attended SUNY Brockport and Broome Community College.
Lt. David Wiswall was appointed to the DEP Police in August 1998, and began his career in the Patrol Division reporting out of Ashokan Precinct. In March 2001 he was promoted to Detective and in June 2004 he was promoted to Sergeant, remaining active until this current date.
Lt. Wiswall previously served four years active duty in the U.S. Army.
The following environmental police officers were promoted to sergeant:
Sgt. Corey Albert was appointed to the DEP Police in March 2007, and began his career in the Patrol Division reporting out of the Hillview Precinct. Sgt. Albert is currently enrolled at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he is majoring in Criminal Justice.
Sgt. Brian Beilman was appointed to the DEP Police in December 2005, and began his career in the Patrol Division reporting out of Ashokan Precinct. In 2007 he transferred to the Gilboa Precinct and in 2011 he transferred back to the Ashokan Precinct. Sgt. Beilman previously served four years active duty in the U.S. Navy.
Sgt. Jesse Ryan was appointed to the DEP Police in September 2009, and began his career in the Patrol Division reporting out of the Eastview Precinct. Sgt. Ryan graduated from Westchester Community College with an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice.
Sgt. Daniel Wahl was appointed to the DEP Police in September 2011, and began his career in the Patrol Division reporting out of the Beerston Precinct. Sgt. Wahl graduated from Broome Community College with an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice.
DEP also celebrated the retirement of Capt. Eugene Sass, who was first appointed to the DEP Police in August 1994. He began his career on patrol in the Ashokan Precinct. He was promoted to Sergeant in July 1995, Lieutenant in May 1999, and Captain in June 2003. Currently the commanding officer of the Special Operations Division, Capt. Sass previously served as the commanding officer of the west-of-Hudson Patrol Division and the Ashokan Precinct Commander. Prior to joining the DEP Police, Capt. Sass served in the U.S. Navy for 21 years.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and others professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. 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. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.