The Palisades Interstate Parkway Police Department was awarded $133,000.00 from the US Department of Homeland Security, FEMA Port Security Grant for 2016. The funds were used to host training through NASBLA, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, which provides basic and advanced training consistent with the standards of the United States Coast Guard. The classes offered included Boat Crew Member (basic boating course for law enforcement), Boat Operator Search and Rescue (search and rescue oriented training), Tactical Operator’s Course (designed for high speed and security zone operations), and Pursuit and Stop (high speed vessel operations).
The classes give the students a standardized training curriculum that is consistent across the United States. Therefore, participants can operate on vessels in any other region of the country cohesively and effectively regardless any prior working relationships. To date, a total of 91 students from this agency as well as the Rockland County NY Sheriff’s Office, Yonkers NY Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Westchester County NY Police Department and the Cape May County NJ Prosecutor’s Office completed the various courses over the 6 week period.
The Boat Operator Search and Rescue course gave the opportunity to engage in aviation operations with the assistance of the United States Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City flight crews. Flight Crews arrived in an MH-65 Dauphin helicopter and provided a full tour of the ship as well as a in depth overview of their operations. Demonstrations on rescue swimmer deployments and rescues were conducted prior to their departure.
Training that is attended on a regional basis such as these courses enhances the capabilities of the agencies responsible for protecting the Port of New York and the gateway to the Ports of Albany and Canada. It allows members from different agencies to operate together without disparities in equipment, training, terminology, or even jurisdictional boundaries.