News and Updates

PBA of NYS’ Call for Increased Park Police Staffing Across the State

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Albany Times Union today published this front page above-the-fold article about the PBA of NYS’ call for increased Park Police staffing across the state. The PBA pointed to a recent incident at Peebles Island State Park in which a convicted level 3 sex offender, who was just released from a 23 year prison term, harassed and menaced a woman and her young children while they were in the park. 

The closest Park Police Officer was 17 miles away and the local police department had to respond to the park and make the arrest. The article quoted PBA Executive Director and Counsel Dan De Federicis and, further confirming the validity of the PBA’s position that the NYS Park Police is understaffed, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple was also interviewed for this article. In noting he has watched the slow decline in Park Police staffing and the added burden it creates on his agency, Sheriff Apple was quoted as follows:

“I don’t count on them,” he said, referring to Park Police coverage at Thacher and Thompson’s Lake State Parks in rural Albany County. “We do our scheduling in the summertime assuming they’re not around. If they are around it’s a luxury and hopefully a quick response time…We do have a skilled search and rescue team, but it’s almost like the rest of the county has to bear the burden for Thacher Park,” Apple said. “Would I like to see more (park police) staffing? Absolutely.”

We would like to note that PBA Vice President and Park Police Sergeants director Manny Vilar and Park Police Officer director Troy Caupain have been relentless in their push to expand Park Police staffing and have spearheaded several efforts, from press accounts such as this one to fighting internally with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to prod the agency to finally prioritize Park Police staffing and further take efforts to stem the rampant attrition losses. It’s an ongoing battle and the PBA will not stop fighting until the agency realizes they cannot continue playing Russian roulette with Park Police coverage and finally comes up with a long term plan to ensure all NYS State Parks, not just the marquee ones, are given adequate police protection. You can read the Times Union article here.