Team Coast Guard trains local Law Enforcement in Small
Members of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, with support
and facilities provided by their Active Duty counter-parts will
participate in a 10 day training session for the Officers of the
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD),
starting 26 July 2004.
The first of a series of courses, the Small Boat Handling Course
for Local Law Enforcement, created by the Staff of the Director
of Auxiliary, First Coast Guard District, Southern Region is the
first of its kind in the New York Metropolitan area.
The Port Authority Police Department is the 24th largest police
department in the nation. The Police Officers, who serve at one
of the four Airport Commands, are also cross-trained in structural
firefighting, emergency first aid and now small boat handling.
Both the John F Kennedy Command, at New York’s JFK Airport
and the LaGuardia Command at New York’s LaGuardia Airport
are surrounded by water.
The first course will take place at the PAPD training center,
at JFK, and in the waters of Jamaica Bay, the Narrows and the
Atlantic Ocean. This course is utilizing the skills and experiences
of over twenty-five members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary as well
as the men and women from CG Station New York. Also schedule to
participate are members of Air Station Atlantic City. Subsequent
courses are scheduled to be run at both JFK and LaGuardia airports.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian
volunteer component of the Coast Guard, operating both their own
vessels and on Coast Guard assets in all missions of the Coast
Guard except military and direct law enforcement. The Auxiliary,
which was created by Congress in 1941 currently, has over 35,000
All Auxiliary members participating in this course are volunteers,
freely giving their time and knowledge to increasing Homeland
Security, here in New York City, as well as nationwide.
The Small Boat Handling Course concept was born when Inspector
Kenneth Honig, Commanding Officer of the JFK Command, PAPD approached
a Coast Guard Auxiliarist, seeking assistance in finding suitable
trainers for his men in small boat handling. The idea was then
brought to the attention of CDR John Felker, the Director of Auxiliary
for the First Coast Guard District, Southern Region, which encompasses
the area from Southern New Jersey to Connecticut, west to Vermont
and Great Lakes region of New York. CDR Felker enthusiastically
embraced the concept, assigning his Operations Training Officer,
Chief Warrant Officer Mark Ferreira to assist the Auxiliary with
the development of the appropriate course(s).
The Auxiliary tailored the Small Boat Handling Course to meet
the needs of this unique Police Department, and their Marine Bureau’s
unique mission. What makes the PAPD marine mission unique is that
their craft is a “Life Raft Distribution Vessel” (LRDV),
with secondary missions as a Patrol and/or Search and Rescue vessel.
The PAPD’s Marine Bureau’s primary mission is to distribute
life rafts at a scene of an aircraft landing that occurs in the
waters around the airport. Their LRDV boats are capable of distributing
life rafts that can hold up to three hundred people, in case of
an accidental waterborne landing.
In addition to these shallow draft vessels, the PAPD also has
jet-ski type boats and air-boats, similar to what is used in the
Florida Keys to navigate the large marsh areas that make up Jamaica
Bay, the primary waters surrounding JFK Airport.
Other courses that are being developed for both the PAPD and
local law enforcement are Cold Water operations, Air Boat operations
and JetSki boat operations.
Wayne Spivak, BC-AIG, N-IC
National Press Corps
National Public Affairs Department
United States Coast Guard Auxiliary