New York State Police

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New York State Police
Common name New York State Troopers
Abbreviation NYSP
NY - State Police Badge.png
Motto Excellence Through Knowledge
Agency overview
Formed April 11, 1917; 101 years ago (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, United States
NYSP - Troop Map.jpg
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 Joseph D'Amico, 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) is the 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.[2]


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.[3] 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.[4] The State Police is also responsible for protecting the Governor of New York and the Lieutenant Governor of New York.


Joseph D'Amico became superintendent of the New York State Police in January, 2011.[5] 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.

  • Superintendent
    • Field Command
      • Uniform Force
        • Field Troops
        • Uniform Special Services
          • Emergency Management Unit
          • School and Community Outreach Unit
          • Bomb Disposal Unit
          • Canine Unit
          • SCUBA Teams
          • Special Operations Response Team
          • Marine Unit
          • Mountain Bicycle Patrol
          • Snowmobile Unit
          • All-Terrain Vehicle Patrol
        • Highway Safety and Traffic Enforcement Services
      • Bureau of Criminal Investigations
        • Gaming Detail
        • Narcotics Enforcement Unit
        • Computer Crime Unit
        • Violent Felony Warrant Squad
        • Community Narcotics Enforcement Teams / Gun Investigative Unit
        • Forensic Investigation Support Services
      • Office of Counter Terrorism
        • State Police Intelligence Center
        • Border Intelligence Unit
        • CALEA Intercept Unit
        • Criminal Gun Clearinghouse
        • Criminal Intelligence Unit
        • Counter Terrorism Center
        • Electronic Surveillance Unit
        • Financial Crimes Unit
        • Gang Intelligence Unit
        • Narcotics Intelligence Unit
        • Source Development Unit
        • Special Investigation Unit
    • Division Headquarters
      • Administration
      • Technology and Planning
      • Employee Relations
      • Human Resources
      • Internal Affairs Bureau


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.

  • Troop A - Counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming
  • Troop B - Counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and St. Lawrence
  • Troop C - Counties: Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Tioga and Tompkins
  • Troop D - Counties: Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego
  • Troop E - Counties: Cayuga, Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates
  • Troop F - Counties: Greene, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Ulster
  • Troop G - Counties: Albany, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington
  • Troop K - Counties: Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester
  • Troop L - Counties: Nassau and Suffolk
  • Troop NYC - Counties: Bronx, Kings, New York, Richmond, and Queens
  • Troop T - New York State Thruway and the Erie Canal System[6]

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. 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.[7]

Rank insignia
Title Insignia
US-O8 insignia.svg
First Deputy Superintendent
US-O7 insignia.svg
Deputy Superintendent/Colonel
US-O6 insignia.svg
Assistant Deputy Superintendent/Lieutenant Colonel
Colonel Gold.png
Staff Inspector
US-O5 insignia.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
US-O3 insignia.svg
US-O2 insignia.svg
Technical Lieutenant
US-O1 insignia.svg
Chief Technical Sergeant
NYSP Chief Technical Sergeant Stripes.png
Staff Sergeant
NYSP Staff Sergeant Stripes.png
First Sergeant
NYSP First Sergeant Stripes.png
Senior Investigator (plainclothes)
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Zone Sergeant
NYSP Zone Sergeant Stripes.png
Sergeant Station Commander
NYSP Sergeant Station Commander Stripes.png
Technical Sergeant
NYSP Technical Sergeant Stripes.png
NYSP Sergeant Stripes.png
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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. [8]

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:


  • L1 - Major
  • L2 - Captain (executive officer)
  • L5 - Bureau of Criminal Investigation Captain
  • L10-L49 - Troop Administration - Marked cars
  • L50-L69 - Troop Administration - Unmarked cars
  • L70-L89 - Miscellaneous Administration
  • L90-L99 - Troop Communications
  • L101-L109 - Traffic Incident Management Team


  • 1L1 - Captain (Zone Commander)
  • 1L2 - Lieutenant
  • 1L10-1L49 - Marked Cars
  • 1L50-1L79 - Unmarked Cars
  • 1L80-1L89 - Miscellaneous Units


  • L5 - BCI Captain
  • 5L1 - BCI Lieutenant
  • 51L5-5L24 - BCI Senior Investigators
  • 51L25-5L199 - BCI Investigators


  • 6L1-6L99 - Administrative Portables
  • 6L100-6L499 - Trooper Portables
  • 6L500-6L599 - BCI Portables


  • Henry (H) - State P.D. Headquarters Division
  • John (J) - State P.D. Narcotics Units
  • Mary (M) - State P.D. Major Crimes Units
  • Nora (N) - State Environmental Conservation P.D.
  • Paul (P) - Department of Corrections
  • Robert (R) - State P.D. Communications Division
  • Sam (S) - State P.D. Special Investigations Units
  • Victor (V) - State P.D. Violent Felony Warrant Squad
  • X-Ray (X) - State P.D. Governor's Protection Unit


Recruits must complete a twenty-six week training academy prior to being appointed as a Trooper. The residential school is located at the NYSP Academy in Latham, 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.[9] The Glock 37 was chosen after the shooting death of Trooper Andrew Sperr in Chemung County on March 1, 2006.[10]

The State Police's vehicle fleet is primarily made up of Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors. It also uses for routine patrol, Dodge Chargers, Chevrolet Caprice PPV, Ford Expeditions and Chevrolet Tahoes. For special occasions they use Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs, and Harley Davidson motorcycles. All marked cars are painted dark blue with yellow reflective decals.[11]

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:[12]

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
Christopher Skinner Thursday, May 29, 2014 Vehicular Assault

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.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 USDOJ Statistics Table 7
  2. Executive Law § 31. "There shall be in the executive department the following divisions: [...] The division of state police. [...]"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Van de Water, Frederic Franklyn (1922). Grey Riders: The Story of the New York State Troopers. Putnam's Sons.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. NYSP site
  5., Jan 2011 Joseph Damico is confirmed as Superintendent
  6. NYSP site
  7. NYSP Uniform
  8. New York State Police Examination for communications specialist (State Police), SG-12
  9. New York State Police to Purchase New Glock Pistol
  11. NYSP Vehicles
  12. The Officer Down Memorial Page

External links