TRIBOROUGH BRIDGE & TUNNEL AUTHORITY POLICE
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This is a genuine TBTA Issued Regulation Item
Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police, or TBTA Police
for short, is a law enforcement agency in New York City thats duties are to protect all facilities and surrounding area owned by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority
(TBTA), enforce state and city laws at all the facilities and the
surrounding area, and many non law enforcement duties, including
collecting the tolls(toll collection currently being phased out to toll
collectors), towing disabled and wrecked vehicles off of the roadways,
and clearing snow off the roadways. The TBTA Police is one of the
largest law enforcement agencies in New York City with 966 Bridge and
Tunnel Officers (BTOs), Sergeants, and Lieutenants currently employed by
The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority
is a toll collection agency with many divisions. The operations force
(law enforcemement division) is credited as a police agency because the
divisions scope of employment is as a police function.
There are four sworn titles (referred to as ranks) for the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police:
||Uniform shirt color
|Bridge and tunnel officer
Currently, the TBTA Police have BTO's at all 9 bridges and tunnels operated by the TBTA.
The bridges and tunnels are:
BTO's are New York State peace officers
authorized to make warrantless arrests, make car stops, issue
summonses, carry firearms on and off duty, and use physical and deadly
force while in their geographical area of employment. A BTO's
geographical area of employment is the State of New York, and BTO's have
peace officer status both on and off duty
Currently, the TBTA Police has the following units:
- Special Operations Division (SOD)
- Collision Reduction Unit/Highway Patrol
- Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit
- Recruit Training (Academy Instructors)
- Ceremonial Unit
- Operations Central Command and Control
- Interagency Counter Terrorism Task Force
The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit was formed in 2008 with 5
officers and 3 sergeants currently assigned. The unit enforces all
weight, hazardous material, cargo, and other restrictions set by NYS law
and TBTA rules and regulations.
The Special Operations Division also performs Executive Protection
and Specialized Public Safety and Security for special events that
involve bridges and tunnels, such as the New York City Marathon, which crosses the Verrazano Bridge.
The department also has a police combat shooting team.
The Achieving Collision Reduction on Bridges and Tunnels (ACROBAT) program (similar to NYPD
TrafficStat) was created to track and prevent auto accidents on the
bridges and tunnels. This program also keeps statistics on summonses
issued on bridges and tunnels, and what the charges were for. In
addition to TBTA's own statistics program, the Special Operations
Division attends NYPD TrafficStat meetings.
- Foot posts/security posts at anchorages, vent buildings, plaza, and lane patrol.
- CORT/SP Radio Car Patrols - These posts patrol facilities, the
surrounding area, anchorages, vent buildings, streets and highways, and
any other property owned by the TBTA. The main focus of these patrols
are to answer 911 calls, enforce VTL & NYC Traffic rules and
regulations, assist motorists, and disabled vehicles, prevent and
respond to crimes in the past and in progress, and prevent acts of
- Sector Posts - RMP(police car)
security posts to prevent trespassing on private property, entering
closed lanes or levels, and preventing vandalism or other crimes.
- Checkpoints - Conduct truck/vehicle checkpoints on or at the entrance of facilities to prevent any crimes from occurring.
- Highway Patrol/SOD - Highway patrol's main focus is the safety of
the motoring public and speed enforcement. Speed is enforced through the
use of Radar/Lidar equipment, and officers assigned are trained through
local police agencies in the use of such equipment.
Toll collection and non law enforcement duties
Currently, BTO's only collect tolls when the facility is short of
temporary toll collectors (temporary toll collectors are hired on a 1
year basis, and are usually rehired at the completion of 1 year).
Temporary toll collectors have no law enforcement status and their sole
responsibility is the collection of tolls. Many if not most BTO's, depending on seniority and the facility, do not collect tolls.
BTO's operate wreckers to remove disabled vehicles from the roadways
and also perform firefighting and emergency rescue operations at the
scene of an accident or fire. During snow storms BTO's may be required
to assist in the removal of snow off the roadways.
BTO's attend the MTA Bridges and Tunnels training academy located on Randalls Island, NY for 16 weeks. BTO's are trained in the use of a Glock 26 & 19 as well as the M4A1 assault rifle and Remington 870.
BTO's receive training in accordance with the New York State Municipal Police Training Council standards, New York City Fire Department
training, NIMS training, Recognizing and Dealing with Weapons of Mass
Destruction training, Radiation Detector training, American Red Cross
First Aid/CPR training and MTA Bridges & Tunnels Training Academy.
A TBTA Police Highway Patrol RMP.
Currently, the police force uses 9C1 police package Chevrolet Impalas for patrol and Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors and Chevrolet Suburbans for Highway Patrol/SOD.
The department terms their police cars "RMPs", which stands for Radio Motor Patrol.
Currently, all officers are equipped with a Glock 19 9mm service weapon, and the Glock 26 9mm
is authorized for off-duty use. Also M4A1 assault rifles may be used.
Members of the Special Operations Division are equipped with Remington 870 shotguns, and are used for emergencies requiring additional firepower.
BTO's are equipped with a firearm, expandable baton, can of pepper spray, handcuffs, whistle, flashlight, reflective traffic vest, bullet resistant vest, radiation detector, and a radio that is directly linked to the Central Dispatcher and other BTO's.
September 11th attacks and change of the department
Prior to the September 11th attacks,
BTO's were unarmed unless they were the desk officer, a supervisor,
making an arrest, or transporting revenue money. The reason for officers
being unarmed was due to customer service concerns. A BTO's main
responsibility was toll collection, with limited law enforcement tasks.
BTO's mainly stood foot posts on the plaza, and RMP patrols were
limited. Since September 11, the police force's responsibilities and
operation has increased dramatically. All officers, sergeants, and
lieutenants are now armed at all times, and the force is proactive in
law enforcement responsibilities and has members assigned to counter
terrorism units. The formation of several units also took place over
this time, and many new law enforcement posts were created for day to
Recent incidents involving BTO's
- In 2007, BTO's were involved in two shootings, on the Triborough and
Bronx Whitestone Bridges, and assisted in the delivery of a newborn
- On July 4, 2008, a man wanted for threatening the lives of two Washington DC Police
officers and for an outstanding felony warrant in New York was arrested
by a BTO at the Triborough Bridge on 125th street in Manhattan after
recognizing the man from a BOLO poster.
- In August 2008, BTO Daniel Bell was fired for starting a dispute
with Wilfred Rattigan, a driver at his toll booth at the Queens Midtown
tunnel. Rattigan, an FBI Agent, handed Bell 3 crumpled one dollar bills
which Bell refused to take, saying it was MTA policy and the driver
would need to straighten the bills himself. A heated exchange ensued,
during which Bell called Rattigan "dude"
and Rattigan demanded to see Bell's supervisor. After Bell requested
his supervisor, Rattigan straightened out the bills and attempted to
hand them to Bell, but he refused to take them, saying he had to wait
for his boss to arrive. Rattigan then reached under his seat and pulled a
black bag on his lap. Bell asked what was in the bag, and Rattigan
responded "A weapon - and here is my identification". Bell ordered
Rattigan to take his hands out of his pockets, but he continued to pull
out his identification. Bell then drew his firearm on Rattigan and the
other people in his car, and ordered them to put their hands on the
dashboard or the seat in front of them. Bell was seen on camera
searching Rattigan's car, and within seconds 8 other BTO's surrounded
the car with their firearms drawn. Once it was confirmed Rattigan was an
FBI Agent, he was sent on his way, and the next day he filed a
complaint with the TBTA. A city administrative law judge
heard the case, and Bell was fired for starting the dispute. It was
later discovered that Bell received 9 complaints in 3 years relating to
Possible merger into Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police
Because the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority is a part of the
Metropolitan Transportation Authority, there has been discussion around
incorporating the BTOs into the MTA Police.
In the original draft of the creation of the consolidated MTA Police
Department, the agencies that were originally to be merged were the Long Island Rail Road Police, Metro North Police, Staten Island Rapid Transit Police,
and TBTA Police. TBTA officers were then removed due to issues in
seniority, and the completion of a NYS Police refresher course. In 1998
the MTA Police Department was created by combining the Long Island Rail
Road Police and Metro North Police. On July 1, 2005, the Staten Island
Rapid Transit Police was absorbed into the MTA Police.Gold Plated with a screw-post-wheel attachmentWorldwide Shipping