News and Updates

Hurricane Deployments Showcase Duty, Commitment and Pride

Thursday, September 01, 2011

September 1: It has been a long time since New Yorker’s have dealt with the aftermath of a natural disaster of the magnitude Tropical Storm Irene. And, while meteorologists may grade Hurricanes and based wind speed, what we experienced on Saturday and Sunday and tore across South Eastern New York left no doubt we were dealing with was an extraordinary storm. Equally extraordinary was the response to duty and community.

Forty-one sworn officers form 13 different University Police locals were deployed to serve alongside the National Guard’s 69th Infantry in New York City. Their mission to ensure safety of New Yorkers affected by the storm, and more specifically to accompany EMTs and assessment teams to areas of severe flooding in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Included in the detail were officers from: University at Albany, Binghamton and Buffalo; SUNY Colleges at Alfred, Brockport, Buffalo, Cortland, Oneonta, Oswego, and Potsdam; and SUNY Colleges of Environmental Science and Forestry; and Institute of Technology. Forest Rangers were assigned to assist with road closures, radio tower failures, state land assessments and equipment relays for other agencies. DEC boats and airboats were deployed for flooding assessment and rescue in localities throughout the affected areas. Of particular note were rescue on August 27 of 50 campers in four separate locations in the backcountry of the Five Ponds Wilderness (St. Lawrence County) area. In another incident, two Rangers hiked a 20 mile loop overnight to establish contact with the campers and escort the groups to safety. Rangers in kayaks rescued three people on the Sacandaga River (Fulton County), who were ejected from their canoe in swift water and became stranded and unable to make it to shore. Park Police personnel were involved across Long Island, in the Hudson Valley and in New York City as the massive storm made landfall and devastated communities across eastern New York State. Among the details addressed by Park police were rescue and recovery operations; coastal and highway patrol; and potential regional evacuations. Environmental Conservation Police Officers worked through the storm in a various regions and circumstances, including postings at Emergency Management Command centers and conducting water rescues of residents trapped in their homes or vehicles. The members of the PBANYS have risen to the occasion to serve our citizens with the utmost professionalism and concern. We are proud of all of you.