New York State Police

New York Division of State Police
Common name New York State Police
Abbreviation NYSP




Flag of the State of New York
Motto Excellence Through Knowledge
Agency overview
Formed April 11, 1917 (1917-04-11)
Employees 6,423 (as of 2007)[1]
Annual budget $727,000,000.00 (2009–10)
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of New York, U.S.
Troops of the New York State Police
Size 54,556 sq mi (141,300 km2).
Population 19.4 Million
Legal jurisdiction New York
Governing body New York State Executive Department
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Building 22 W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus
Albany, New York
Troopers 4,900 [1]
Civilians 1,747 (as of 2007)[1]
Agency executive George P. Beach, Superintendent
Troops 11
Official Site
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.
A Troop L patrol car in New York City, in September 2010.

The New York State Police (NYSP), officially the New York Division of State Police,[2] is the official state police force of the U.S. state of New York, and employs over 4,900 sworn state troopers. It is formally part of the New York State Executive Department.[3]


There were a number of proposals for a State Police force during the early 1900s but bills for its creation faced considerable opposition from union interests.[4] Finally in 1917 in response to, and from the publicity surrounding, the 1913 murder of a construction foreman named Sam Howell in Westchester County a bill for the creation of the New York State Police was passed.[notes 1] The New York State Police was officially established on April 11, 1917 by the New York Legislature.

The department's first superintendent was George Fletcher Chandler, who was responsible for much of the department's early organization and development. Chandler coined the term "New York State Troopers" and was an early advocate of officers carrying their weapons exposed on a belt, which was not common practice at the time.[5] The State Police is also responsible for protecting the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of New York.


George P. Beach, retired Lt. Col. of the New York State Police, was confirmed by the State Senate as superintendent on June 9, 2016. He succeeds Joseph D'Amico, following his retirement. Joseph D'Amico became superintendent of the New York State Police in January, 2011.[6] He replaced John Melville, who was acting superintendent replacing Harry J. Corbitt. Corbitt, who was nominated by former New York State Governor David Paterson, replaced acting superintendent Preston Felton. Felton had replaced the retired Wayne E. Bennett. Corbitt announced his resignation on March 2, 2010, amid controversy. The interim Superintendent has also stepped down citing unease among labor unions. Two superintendents stepped down from the State Police in 6 days.

Structure and organization


The State Police is headed by the Superintendent of the State Police, who is appointed by the Governor of New York.


The NYSP divides New York state geographically into ten "Troops," each comprising a specific geographic area, usually several counties. Each is supervised by a "Troop Commander" usually of the rank of Major.

Each Troop encompasses 2–4 "Zones" which are referred to simply by a Zone number. There are up to several "sub-stations" located within each zone.

Uniforms and Ranks

Trooper uniforms are made of grey wool, with the exception of the Gore-Tex jacket. Prior to 1958, uniforms (shirts, jackets and britches) were not grey, but made of equal parts white fiber and black fiber to symbolize the impartiality of justice. The NYSP is one of only five state police forces that do not wear a badge on their uniform shirts.[8] Like a U.S. Flag, trooper uniforms are burned when no longer serviceable. The black stripe down the leg of the trouser is worn in remembrance of fallen comrades. The purple color of the tie and hat band represents an elite unit. Troopers wear a tan felt stetson hat with a leather security strap and purple band around it.[9]

Rank insignia
Title Insignia
First Deputy Superintendent
Deputy Superintendent/Colonel
Assistant Deputy Superintendent/Lieutenant Colonel
Staff Inspector
Technical Lieutenant
Chief Technical Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
First Sergeant
Senior Investigator (plainclothes)
Zone Sergeant
Sergeant Station Commander
Technical Sergeant

Chevrons are black on a gray background and are worn on the upper sleeves of both the shirt and the jacket. Rank insignia for Technical Lieutenant through Superintendent are worn on the collars of the shirt and the shoulder loops of the Gore-Tex jacket.

Communication officer for the state police (911 operators State police)

Communication specialists are often the life line for citizens throughout the state who are in need of immediate emergency assistance. These specialized individuals take citizen complaints, dispatch troopers to calls for service and emergencies, and answer cellular 911 calls. These employees also provide medical information to citizens over the telephone, ranging from instructions on delivering a baby to performing CPR on an unresponsive person. [10]

Car numbers

A patrol car number will contain the Troop and Zone or group prefix: for example, car 1A30 would be a patrol car in Zone 1 of Troop A. Prefix numbers 1 through 4 are used for geographic patrol zones, while 5 is used by BCI Investigators, 6 by Portables, 7 by other local agencies dispatched by NYSP, 8 by special state units (e.g. State Park Police), and 9 by dispatchers. Cars not carrying prefixes, for instance K55, are Troop Headquarters cars. The New York State Police also use a standard number-blocking system to identify the type of unit carrying a particular number:







Recruits must complete a 26-week training academy prior to being appointed as a state trooper. The residential school is located at the NYSP Academy in Albany, New York. Recruits must then complete 10 weeks post academy field training with a trained field training officer (FTO) holding the rank of trooper prior to permanent troop assignment.


Officers of the New York State Police are issued the Glock 37 chambered in .45 GAP as the service pistol. The New York State Police previously used the Glock 17 from 1989 to 2007.[11] The Glock 37 was chosen after the shooting death of Trooper Andrew Sperr in Chemung County on March 1, 2006.[12]

The State Police's vehicle fleet is primarily made up of Ford Explorer and Ford Taurus vehicles, which are slowly replacing the Crown Victorias that the State Police previously used as its primary patrol car. It also uses for routine patrol, Dodge Chargers, Chevrolet Caprice, Ford Expeditions and Chevrolet Tahoes. All marked cars are painted dark blue with yellow reflective decals.[13]

Vehicles in the Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement program (CITE) are unmarked and feature Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Tahoe vehicles.

Effective Spring 2011, New York State Troopers were trained and issued Tasers for patrol purposes. The tasers were donated by the NYS Trooper Foundation to give Troopers, who almost always patrol alone, yet another alternative than deadly force to subdue combatants.

Fallen officers

Since the establishment of the New York State Police, 126 officers have died in the line of duty. Recent deaths include:[14]

Officer Date of Death Details
Robert G. Dunning Sunday, June 14, 1987 Gunfire
Lawrence P. (Larry) Gleason Monday, February 11, 2002 Gunfire
Robert Wayne Ambrose Thursday, December 19, 2002 Automobile Accident
Andrew J. "AJ" Sperr Wednesday, March 1, 2006 Gunfire
Craig James Todeschini Sunday, April 23, 2006 Automobile Accident
Joseph Anthony Longobardo Sunday, September 3, 2006 Gunfire
David Brinkerhoff Wednesday, April 25, 2007 Gunfire (accidental)
David J. Lane Wednesday, November 4, 2009 Automobile Accident
Jill Mattice Wednesday, January 20, 2010 Automobile Accident
Kevin P. Dobson Saturday, March 26, 2011 Struck by Vehicle
Amanda Anna Saturday, May 26, 2012 Automobile Accident
David Cunniff Tuesday, December 17, 2013 Automobile Accident
Ross Riley Wednesday, November 20, 2013 Rapelling Accident
Christopher Skinner Thursday, May 29, 2014 Vehicular Assault
Timothy Pratt Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Struck by Vehicle

See also


  1. Sam Howell was shot seven times while delivering the payroll to his employers. He identified two of the four men who shot him by name before succumbing to his wounds. The local sheriff and the constable were unable to arrest the men though from pressure by the local laborers.[4]


  1. 1 2 3 USDOJ Statistics Table 7
  3. Executive Law § 31. "There shall be in the executive department the following divisions: [...] The division of state police. [...]"
  4. 1 2 Van de Water, Frederic Franklyn (1922). Grey Riders: The Story of the New York State Troopers. Putnam's Sons.
  5. NYSP site
  6., Jan 2011 Joseph Damico is confirmed as Superintendent
  7. NYSP site
  8. Kidd, R. Spencer (2012). Uniforms of the U.S. State Police & Highway Patrols. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-4717-7729-5. OCLC 929822564.
  9. NYSP Uniform
  10. New York State Police Examination for communications specialist (State Police), SG-12
  11. New York State Police to Purchase New Glock Pistol
  13. NYSP Vehicles
  14. The Officer Down Memorial Page

External links

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