FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 17-2
January 6, 2017
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Department of Environmental Protection Announces Graduation of 19 New Police Officers
Graduates will join force of more than 200 highly trained officers who protect New York City’s water supply and water supply infrastructure every day
Photos from the Ceremony are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today celebrated the graduation of 19 new police officers who were trained at the Staff Sgt. Robert H. Dietz DEP Police Academy in Kingston, New York. The new officers will be immediately deployed to protect the City’s water supply reservoirs, infrastructure, and the 2,000-square-mile watershed that stretches across parts of nine upstate counties. The new graduates were honored Friday during a ceremony at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston.
The DEP Police Academy began in 2002. It was the first of its kind in the nation to provide training, experience and concentrated course work in advanced environmental laws. The new environmental protection officers (EPO), who live in 11 different counties and speak three languages, have successfully completed a total of 31 weeks of instruction. That instruction included in-depth training in counterterrorism, the environment, police science, the use of firearms and defense tactics. In addition, recruits completed courses in environmental conservation law, land navigation, fish and wildlife and watershed protection.
“I would like to congratulate the new environmental police officers who are now officially members of the police force that patrols the largest municipal water supply in the United States,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza, who presided over the graduation ceremony. “Our police officers patrol 24 reservoirs and hundreds of water supply facilities that are spread across thousands of miles. Their around-the-clock work is vital to the safety and security of all New Yorkers.”
The graduating class named EPO Martin Szostak as its class leader and EPO Heather Horohoe, EPO Michael Moriarty, EPO Paul Riordan and EPO Zacharry Vagias as squad leaders. During the graduation ceremony several of the new officers were given awards for their outstanding performance during the training. EPO Emily Monaco received the Academic Proficiency Award and the Physical Fitness Award; EPO Martin Szostak received the Firearms Proficiency Award; and EPO Matthew McElrath received the Best Overall Officer Award.
The following is a complete list of graduates and their home counties:
Kelly Barratt, Schoharie; Sean Doherty, Greene; Daniel Ferrara, Queens; Jeanne Fiumara, Kings; Heather Horohoe, Orange; Michael Kelly, Dutchess; Jason Manitsas, Westchester; Matthew McElrath, Ulster; Sean Mckenna, Queens; Emily Monaco, Nassau; Michael Moriarty, Westchester; Peter Pryer, Suffolk; Paul Riordan, Ulster; Zachery Rubino, Rockland; Ashley Szostak, Ulster; Martin Szostak, Ulster; Luis Torres, Westchester; Zacharry Vagias, Ulster; Benjamin Wolf, Orange.
The Bureau of Water Supply (BWS) Police was created through legislation enacted in the 1905 Water Supply Act. It was not until 1907 that the first provisional appointees were hired and assigned. On July 9, 1908, the first permanent police officers were appointed and assigned to the precincts in Peekskill, Garrison, Brown’s Station, and High Falls. The Bureau of Water Supply Police was the first police agency in upstate New York with a multiple county police jurisdiction. In 1983, the Bureau of Water Supply 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, the DEP jurisdiction was extended to include the five boroughs of New York City. Members of the DEP Police are New York State certified police officers. The DEP department maintains jurisdiction in 14 counties, including the five counties of New York City. DEP police patrol the watershed by foot, bicycle, all-terrain vehicle, motorcycle, boat and helicopter. The department maintains specially trained units that include an 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 high quality water each day to more than 9.5 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 other 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.