KINGSTON – The latest police academy for New York City Department of Environmental Protection officers is underway in Kingston.
The new recruits will train there for seven months to become sworn officers in the DEP Police Division, which protects the watershed lands, reservoirs and infrastructure that comprise the largest municipal water supply in the country.
The class includes 29 men and 11 women, four of which are military veterans.
The class includes members from the Hudson Valley, Catskills and New York City, and six countries including Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Kosovo and Thailand.
Twelve of the trainees speak more than one language.
The recruits range in age from 21 to 40 with the average age of 27.
The class was selected from over 5,400 candidates.
The trainees undergo the same requirements as other new officers, including 750 hours of training. In addition to the fundamentals of being an officer, they focus on special topics that prepare them to protect the reservoirs, lands and infrastructure that provide high-quality drinking water to 9.6 million people every day.
The special training includes environmental enforcement, counterterrorism, and a detailed overview of the water supply’s infrastructure and facilities.
The DEP police division is charged with protecting 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, more than 185,000 acres of watershed land, nearly 400 miles of aqueducts, 29 water supply dams, 57 bridges, seven wastewater treatment plans, and more than 280 shafts, chambers, laboratories and other facilities that help the system function.