New York State Park Police Fear Merger Could Lead To Layoffs

Sophia Hall
February 24, 2020 - 3:59 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Union leaders for the New York State Park Police fear many members will lose their jobs in a planned merger with the state police. 

According to Manny Villar, vice president of the Police Benevolent Association of New York State Vice President, 190 members could lose their jobs during the merger with state police because of a battery of tests that could be required for senior members.

"Medical and physical agility for a 50-year-old that most 50 year olds, including troopers that are 50 years old, would not be able to pass," Villar said.

He tells WCBS 880's Sophia Hall that it was inferred those who fail the test will be let go.

Villar said there's a special skill set needed to police state parks and losing senior members could pose a security risk.

"Any type of absorption that would disenfranchise or prevent the senior most people with the most knowledge from going over is not making the State of New York or state parks any safer," Villar said.

A state police spokesperson in a statement to WCBS 880 said the priority is to maximize resources for the 80 million people who visit state parks each year and no one will lose their job or be forced to relocate.

"We will create a pathway for park officers to become state troopers, and some requirements, such as age restrictions, will be relaxed," the statement read. "State Police is in discussions with Park Police and union officials, and that will continue until the transition process is finalized.”