Press Release Article


Date: Oct 11, 2019
Press Release Number: 168-2019

Class includes seven legacy officers who have family members who served or are serving in law enforcement

The Port Authority Police Department today reached record police staffing levels following the graduation of 113 new police officers from the 118th Police Academy class, including seven legacy officers who have a family member who served with the PAPD or other law enforcement agency. The new officers bring the total department staffing to 2,169, the highest levels in its history.

Today’s graduation ceremony, held at St. Joseph’s High School in Metuchen, N.J., included 80 college graduates and 15 military veterans, while 47 graduates have prior law enforcement experience. In the agency’s ongoing commitment to building a diverse department that reflects the metropolitan region in which Port Authority facilities are located, the graduates speak a total of 12 languages. Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans make up 30 percent of the graduating class.

“These new recruits will bolster the ranks of the PAPD to its highest levels ever, furthering our commitment to public safety and to the millions of travelers who use our transportation facilities each year,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “We applaud these new officers as they join the ranks of one of the nation’s premier police agencies, and we wish them well as they begin their law enforcement careers.”

“We welcome the 113 officers who are joining the PAPD today and bringing the department to the highest staffing level in its history,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “This increase is a key part of the Port Authority’s commitment to ensure the safety and security of our facilities. We know these new officers and their colleagues will deliver on this commitment.”

“Our goal is to build a highly skilled, highly diverse department whose members are trained to handle the ongoing post 9/11 policing issues and are equally equipped to deal with the region’s changing demographic population,” said Port Authority Chief Security Officer John Bilich. “We believe the extensive training these officers have received have provided them with the skills they need to serve the traveling public at all of our transportation facilities.”

As part of their 25-week training sessions, the new graduates studied the laws of both New York and New Jersey and received comprehensive instruction in police procedures, firearms usage, First Aid and counter-terrorism techniques. They also received training from a Holocaust survivor to help them examine the roots of prejudice and intolerance and apply those lessons to police work.

The Port Authority Police Department is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the agency's land, sea, air and rail facilities, which include airports, bridges and tunnels, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the PATH rail system, the regional ports in New York and New Jersey and the 16-acre World Trade Center site.

Anyone interested in joining the department are encouraged to access the website through

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Founded in 1921, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. The agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information, please visit

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