Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police

Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police

Infobox Law enforcement agency
agencyname = Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police
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abbreviation = TBTA Police
fictional =
patch = TBTA Uniform Patch.jpg
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motto = "NY's Proudest"
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country = United States
countryabbr = USA
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divtype = State
divname = New York
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subdivtype = City
subdivname = New York
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legaljuris = New York City
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police = Yes
local = Yes
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headquarters = Manhattan, New York

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sworntype = Bridge and Tunnel Officers/ Sergeants/ Lieutenant
sworn = Approx. 966
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minister1name =
minister1pfo =
chief1name = Chief James Fortunato
chief1position = Chief of Operations
parentagency = MTA
child1agency =
unittype =
unitname = collapsible list |Patrol |Highway Patrol |Special Operations Division/Collision Reduction Unit |Recruit Training |Ceremonial Unit |Operations Central Command and Control |Counter Terrorism Task Force
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officename =
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stationtype = Toll Bridges and Tunnel
stations = 9Triborough Bridge

Bronx-Whitestone Bridge

Verrazano Narrows Bridge

Throgs Neck Bridge

Henry Hudson Bridge

Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge

Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge

Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel

Queens Midtown Tunnel
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website = [ Official TBTA Site]
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The "Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Police", or "TBTA Police", 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 TBTA.


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.

Rank Structure


Currently, the TBTA Police have BTO's at all facilities operated by the TBTA.

The facilities are: [ [ Airport, Transit and Port Authority Police Cars website - TBTA page] ]

*Triborough Bridge
*Bronx-Whitestone Bridge
*Verrazano Narrows Bridge
*Throgs Neck Bridge
*Henry Hudson Bridge
*Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge
*Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge
*Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel
*Queens Midtown Tunnel

Power and Authority

BTO's are New York State Peace Officers authorized to make warrantless arrests, make car stops, issue summonses, carry firearms, and use physical and deadly force while in their geographical area of emplyoment. A BTO's geographical area of employment is the state of New York, and BTO's have peace officer status while both on duty and off. [2]

A BTO's authority is not limited to property owned by TBTA, but rather the State of New York.


Currently, the TBTA Police has the following units:

*Special Operations Division
**Collision Reduction Unit/Highway Patrol
**Truck Enforcement Unit
*Recruit Training (Academy Instructors)
*Ceremonial Unit
*Operations Central Command and Control
**Counter Terrorism Task Force

The Truck 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 department also has a police combat shooting team.


*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 terrorism.

*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. [ [ MTA Job Description] ] 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. [ [ Duties of Bridge and Tunnel Officers] ]


BTO's attend the MTA Bridges and Tunnels Training Academy located on Randalls Island, NY for 13 weeks.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. [ [ BTO Benevolent Association page] ]


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.

[ Impala photo]

[ TBTA Vehicle photos]

The department terms their police cars "RMP"s, 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. 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, or transporting revenue money. The reason for officers being unarmed was to prevent armed robberies at the toll booths. 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 11th, the police force's responsiblities and operation has increased dramatically. All officers, sergeants, and lieutenants are now armed at all times, and the force is proactive in law enforcement responsiblilites 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 day operations.

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 baby. [ [ Tunnel Cop 'Delivers'] ]
*On July 4th, 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. [ [ NY Daily News article - Triborough Bridge walk takes toll on fugitive - he gets arrested] ]

*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, a 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 ws confirmed Rattigan was a 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 rudeness. [ [ NY Post article - MTA Gunslinger Takes Tough Toll] ]

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. [ [ Possible Merger of TBTA Police into 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.

See also

*Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority
*Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police
*New York City Police Department
*New York City
*List of law enforcement agencies in New York


External links

* [ Official TBTA Site]
* [ Bridge and Tunnel Officers Benevolent Association]
* [ Superior Officers Benevolent Association]
* [ NY Daily News article - Bridge and Tunnel Officers Lauded]

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