Press Release Article


Date: Nov 01, 2004
Press Release Number: 132-2004

Promotions Include First Female Captain Since the World Trade Center Attacks

Four senior Port Authority Police commanders with more than 90 years of service among them were promoted today to top posts within the force. The promotions include the elevation of a female Port Authority Police lieutenant to the rank of captain – the first since Captain Kathy Mazza, who was killed in the World Trade Center attacks.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, \"I congratulate these brave individuals on their well-deserved promotions. These fine individuals exemplify the more than 1,600 Port Authority Police officers who dedicate themselves to safeguarding our facilities and protecting the people who use them.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler said, “These dedicated professionals have proven they have what it takes to lead this sophisticated police department in the 21st century. I am confident in their ability to develop and implement strategies to keep our facilities and the public safe and secure.”

Michael O’Connor, the Port Authority’s Chief of Public Safety and Office of Emergency Management, said, “These promotions represent people we think a lot of and expect a great deal from. They play an essential role in our effort to protect against the threat of terrorism.”

Port Authority Director of Public Safety/Superintendent of Police Samuel J. Plumeri Jr. said, “These commanders and our new detective have demonstrated great leadership and expertise in their fields of work. They will lead some of the best-trained police officers in the world, and I am certain they will serve the Port Authority Police Department well.”

Today’s promotions are:

Assistant Chief Michael Valenti of Chatham, N.J., to deputy chief. Deputy Chief Valenti joined the Port Authority Police Department in 1984. The 20-year veteran recently served as assistant chief in the Office of Counterterrorism. His new post is as chief of detectives in the Criminal Investigative Bureau.

Inspector George Albin of Thiells, N.Y., to assistant chief. Assistant Chief Albin, a 27-year veteran of the Port Authority Police Department, served as commanding officer of the Criminal Investigative Bureau. He will move to the Office of Counterterrorism at Port Authority Police Headquarters.

Captain Anthony Fitzgerald of East Northport, N.Y., to inspector. Inspector Fitzgerald has 18 years of service with the Port Authority Police, most recently as operations captain at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He becomes the commanding officer of the Criminal Investigative Bureau.

Lieutenant Susan Durett of Summit, N.J., to captain. Captain Durett, a 25-year veteran of the force, spent the last six years as executive officer of the PATH Police Command. She will become commanding officer of the Holland Tunnel and World Trade Center site. Durett will be the third woman to hold the rank of captain in the Port Authority Police Department. The other PAPD captains were Barbara McClancy, who retired in 2002 at the rank of inspector, and Captain Kathy Mazza, who was killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Police Officer Shawn Russell of Rockville Center, N.Y., to detective. Detective Russell, a 12-year veteran of the force, was assigned to the Criminal Investigative Bureau in the Auto Crime Unit. His new assignment will be with the FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force at JFK.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates some of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.