Press Release Article


Date: Oct 07, 2002
Press Release Number: 105-2002

Members of the Port Authority Police Department who helped save thousands and narrowly escaped death during the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center are encouraging new recruits – especially women and minorities – to join the force that inspired the nation with its heroic response. Their efforts are part of a regional recruitment drive now under way and scheduled to end on October 11.

\"The airports, seaports, bridges, tunnels and bus terminals of the Port Authority are all gateways to America, and we are on the front line of the fight against terrorists and would-be lawbreakers. The more multicultural and multilingual our department is, the more effective it can be,\" said Port Authority Police Officer Will Jimeno. \"My Latino heritage and ability to speak Spanish have enabled me to more effectively assist my fellow officers and the hundreds of people I come in contact with on the job each day.\"

After the attacks, Officer Jimeno worked tirelessly to help others escape. When the Twin Towers collapsed, he was trapped in the rubble for 14 hours and one of the last people to be rescued alive. A resident of Clifton, N.J., he has been with the PAPD for two years.

Officer David Lim said, \"I believe that I am living proof that becoming a police officer offers opportunities to truly make a difference. I have always been proud of my decision to become a member or the force, and my family, friends and many members of the Asian community from all over the world have expressed pride in my career choice.\"

After guiding hundreds down the stairs and out of the World Trade Center, the 24-year police veteran found himself in a deluge of steel and concrete as Tower One collapsed around him. He managed to escape from the wreckage, along with one civilian and members of Ladder Company 6 of the New York Fire Department. He is a resident of Lynbrook, N.Y.

Police Chief Anthony Whitaker, Assistant Chief of Department, said, \"My 31 years with the force have been extremely rewarding. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with a wide variety of people and be a role model and mentor to young people in the African-American community.\"

At the time of the attacks, Chief Whitaker was the police captain responsible for all Port Authority officers assigned to the World Trade Center. He played a major role in directing the evacuation of the complex after the attacks. He also narrowly escaped death by dodging a fireball of jet fuel that exploded from an elevator shaft. Chief Whitaker is a resident of Fort Lee, N.J.

Officer Sharon Miller said, \"Some women might be apprehensive about being able to handle the physical challenges of being a police officer. However, our training gives you the ability to deal with tough situations as you protect the public. In fact, during my 18 years on the force, I have often found my gender to be an asset because occasionally you deal with people who seem to respond better to a woman.\"

On September 11, 2001, Office Miller and 10 of her colleagues entered the World Trade Center together to evacuate the occupants. They helped save hundreds of lives. She was one of two in her group who survived. She is a resident of Bayonne, N.J.

In addition to traditional police responsibilities, Port Authority officers are trained to fight fires, respond to aircraft emergencies and use other specialized skills to protect one of the world’s busiest transportation networks. They have police powers in both New York and New Jersey.

The starting salary for a Port Authority Police officer is $32,361, which reaches $70,344 after five years.

Port Authority Police applicants must be at least age 21 by November 11, 2002, and must not have reached their 35th birthday at the time of their appointment to the Police Academy Training Program. Candidates must be United States citizens and live in New York or New Jersey if they are appointed to the Port Authority Police force.

Applicants who pass the written test will need either 60 college credits or an honorable discharge from the United States military after two years of continuous active duty to continue the screening process.

Applications can be obtained in person from Port Authority headquarters at 111 East 18th Street in Manhattan; the George Washington Bridge Bus Station at 4211 Broadway between 178th and 179th streets in Manhattan, second-floor community room; the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan, North Wing, Main Floor; the AirTrain JFK Jamaica Outreach Office, 148-15 Archer Ave.,

Jamaica, N.Y.; Newark Penn Station; and Journal Square Transportation Center, 1 PATH Plaza, Concourse Level, Jersey City. Additional application distribution centers are located at the Council for Airport Opportunities offices at: 90-04 161st Street in Jamaica, N.Y., 17 Academy Street in Newark, N.J., and 2815 Kennedy Boulevard (3rd floor) in Jersey City, N.J. The non-refundable application fee is $40. Applications should be returned by mail to the address provided on the form. For further information, applicants can call 866 727-6542 or 212 435-2926.

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; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH rapid-transit system; the 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 is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.
Thirty-seven Port Authority Police officers and commanders were killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

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