New York Daily News

April 27, 2002

Fresh Faces for PA

72 ex-NYPD cops among graduates

Daily News Staff Writer

Eighty-three recruits graduated yesterday from the Port Authority police academy, but there wasn't a rookie in the bunch.

Newly graduated Port Authority Police Officer Christopher Outhouse celebrates with son Tyler, 1.  

All have police experience; 72 of them came from the New York Police Department in search of a new opportunity and better pay.

The new PA cops are the first to join the bistate force since the department lost 37 officers and commanders — including its top cop — Sept. 11.

"The Port Authority Police Department showed the world on Sept. 11 that they were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of others," Port Authority Chairman Jack Sinagra said at ceremonies in New Jersey. "Today the Port Authority Police takes another important step in the recovery from that day of inconceivable tragedy and incomparable heroism."

Learning Fast

The recruits completed an accelerated eight-week program that included training in counterterrorism, firefighting and use of portable heart defibrillators.

The starting salary for Port Authority police officers is $32,361, but they earn $70,344 by their fifth year on the force, agency spokesman Pasquale Di Fulco said.

That's about $10,000 more than a New York City police officer with similar experience.

Robert Jersey said he worked as an NYPD cop for 2 1/2 years, but he jumped ship from his Bronx beat because of the benefits. "I have a family and I wanted to move them to New Jersey," he said. "The money is better with PA, and the routine is less crazy."

Another graduate, Barry Dashal, who was recently married, said he will be able to afford a house for his new wife and they can start a family.

"I couldn't afford to buy a house and raise a family on a city cop's salary," said Dashal.

The new PA cops will join a 1,300-member police department that patrols LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark airports, the PATH commuter trains, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, PA bus terminals and six bridges.