Whether on a bridge, inside a tunnel or in the water, an elite Port Authority police squad known as the Emergency Services Unit, or ESU, is specially trained to respond to every conceivable dangerous situation. What they do is the real-life stuff of action-packed movie thrillers.
It goes beyond what cadets are taught at the Police Academy. For eight months, these law enforcement daredevils learn how to perform special ops under the most extreme conditions with the least disruption to Port Authority operations: at high altitudes, or using the deadliest weapons. And it goes without saying, they must learn to conquer their fears.
The training is part of the New York Police Department’s Specialized Training School (STS). Working alongside the ESU unit within the NYPD, for example, members of the Port Authority ESU were among the boots on the ground during one of the deadliest and most destructive storms to ever hit the region, Superstorm Sandy. They rescued citizens and evacuated the elderly from senior centers. They cleared debris and trees from roadways and performed grid searches for possible victims.
For more on ESU training, watch this vlog by Rudy King of the agency’s Media Relations department on a recent training on the George Washington Bridge by ESU candidates, as they underwent the harrowing experience of climbing slippery barrel cables on a drizzly and foggy day.