Press Release Article


Date: Sep 23, 2004
Press Release Number: 115-2004

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today approved planning and design work for a state-of-the-art Police Command Center/Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting facility at LaGuardia Airport.

The planning and design will cost $2.6 million and is the first component for the creation of this necessary facility.

The new facility will house the Port Authority Police Command at LaGuardia, as well as the airport’s emergency vehicles, which are operated by Port Authority Police officers who are cross-trained as firefighters, specializing in aircraft emergencies.

The new structure, with about 45,000 square feet of space, will be in the aeronautical operating area at the west end of the airport, closer to the airport’s two runways, optimizing response capability to potential aircraft emergencies.

“The existing police facility was built in 1940,” Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said. “Although it was expanded in the mid-1980s, it is no longer able to accommodate our full complement of police and security equipment at LaGuardia, the larger number of officers assigned there, or the larger emergency vehicles in today’s fleet.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The new facility will further assist the members of the Port Authority Police Department, as they continue to work diligently to serve and protect the tens of millions of passengers who use LaGuardia Airport each year.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “Safety and security will always remain top priorities at the Port Authority. Today’s action by our Board reflects this commitment.”

Port Authority Chief of Public Safety/Emergency Management Michael O’Connor said, “Since 9/11, the size of the police complement at LaGuardia has increased substantially. It is vital to give our police officers the tools they need to do their work, and give them a facility that can appropriately house those tools.”

Samuel J. Plumeri Jr., Director of Public Safety/Superintendent of Police for the bistate agency, said the building will have locker rooms, storage areas, separate holding areas for adults and juveniles, and suitable quarters for the PAPD’s K-9 and Emergency Service units, as well as its Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting unit.

Created in 1928, the Port Authority Police Department has more than 1,600 officers and commanders. Its responsibilities include law enforcement, the protection of life and property, and the safety and security of all the Port Authority land, sea, air and rail facilities in the Port District.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many 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.

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