New York State Police

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New York State Police
Patch of the New York State Police.png
Seal of the New York State Police.svg
Badge of the New York State Police.png
Flag of New York.svg
Flag of the State of New York
Common name New York State Troopers
Abbreviation NYSP
Motto Excellence Through Knowledge
Agency overview
Formed April 11, 1917; 101 years ago (1917-04-11)
Employees 5,711 (as of 2018)[1]
Annual budget $926,123,000 (2018)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction New York, U.S.
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
Headquarters Building 22 W. Averell Harriman State Office Building Campus
Albany, New York

Troopers 5,000[2]
Civilians 711 (as of 2018)
Agency executive
Troops 11
Official Site
A Troop L patrol car in New York City, in September 2010

The New York State Police (NYSP), is the official state police force of the U.S. state of New York, and employs over 5,000 sworn state troopers. It is part of the New York State Executive Department.[3]


George Fletcher Chandler, the first Superintendent of the New York State Police

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 State Legislature.

The division's first superintendent was George Fletcher Chandler, who was responsible for much of the division'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 New York State Police is also responsible for protecting the Governor of New York 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.

Structure and organization[edit]


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
          • Aviation Unit[7]
          • 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 eleven "Troops," each comprising a specific geographic area, usually several counties. Each is supervised by a "Troop Commander" usually of the rank of Major.[8]

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[edit]

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.[10] 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.[11]

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
US-O5 insignia.svg
Staff Inspector
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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)
Blank - Spacer.png
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
Blank - Spacer.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)[edit]

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.[12]

Car numbers[edit]

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

Uniformed Troopers

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

Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI)

  • L5 - BCI Captain
  • 5L1 - BCI Lieutenant
  • 5L15-5L24 - BCI Senior Investigators
  • 5L25-5L199 - BCI Investigators


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

Special Units

  • Henry (H) - State P.D. Headquarters Division
  • Nora (N) - State Environmental Conservation P.D.
  • Robert (R) - State P.D. Academy Units
  • Sam (S) - State P.D. Special Investigations Units


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.


As of January 2018, the New York State Police began issuing the Glock 21 GEN4 chambered in 45 ACP to all uniformed members. Previously, New York State Troopers were issued the Glock 37 chambered in .45 GAP as the service pistol. The New York State Police previously used the Glock 17 from 1990 to 2007, the Glock 17 replaced the Smith & Wesson Model 686 (NYSP issued the Model 681).[13] The Glock 37 was chosen after the shooting death of Trooper Andrew Sperr in Chemung County on March 1, 2006. The Glock 37 was chosen because it has the .45 caliber ballistics but in the smaller Glock 17 frame.[14]

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.

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.

Troopers are also armed with Remington 870 patrol shotguns, Rock River Arms AR-15 "LAR-15 Tactical Entry Model", and backup troopers can alternatively carry the sub-compact Glock 39 .45 GAP.

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the New York State Police, 136 officers have died while on duty.[15]

See also[edit]


  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]
  2. ^ NYSP Troop T was responsible for protecting Interstate 84 from 1991 to 2010 because the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) maintained Interstate 84. However, due to the transfer of maintenance from NYSTA back to the NYSDOT in October 2010, NYSP Troop T no longer patrols Interstate 84 as patrolling duties were reassigned to Troop F and Troop K.


  1. ^ "NYS DOB: FY 2018 Executive Budget | Agency Appropriations | State Police, Division of". Retrieved 2018-06-10. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Executive Law § 31. "There shall be in the executive department the following divisions: [...] The division of state police. [...]"
  4. ^ a b 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. ^ Aviation Unit
  8. ^ NYSP site
  9. ^ Rife, Judy (October 11, 2010). "DOT takes over maintenance on I-84". Times Herald-Record. Middletown, NY. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  10. ^ Kidd, R. Spencer (2012). Uniforms of the U.S. State Police & Highway Patrols. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-4717-7729-5. OCLC 929822564. 
  11. ^ NYSP Uniform
  12. ^ New York State Police Examination for communications specialist (State Police), SG-12
  13. ^ New York State Police to Purchase New Glock Pistol
  14. ^
  15. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page

External links[edit]