Law enforcement suffers never ending tragedy, a truth every law enforcement officer lives with. When tragedy visits a department, agency or organization it is the law enforcement community that rallies to provide support and comfort. The Port Authority Police Department, unfortunately, has throughout its history been the recipient of that support and comfort but, never like it received in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, when thirty-seven Port Authority police officers were tragically killed in the line of duty at the World Trade Center. During that time law enforcement officers from throughout the country came to New York to support the PAPD. We will never forget and will always try to aid any law enforcement organization in its time of need.
A symbol of the Port Authority PBA efforts is the PBA Canteen, a rolling comfort and aid station bringing relief, when possible, to where it is needed within the law enforcement community. The PBA Canteen, staffed by volunteer PBA Executive Board Members, has traveled to many locations in our nation providing food, refreshments and, quite simply, a place for weary law enforcement officers to relax and catch their breaths before resuming their assignments.
The PBA Canteen traveled to Dallas, Texas, to assist with the funerals of five police officers gunned down on July 7, 2016. Shortly thereafter the Canteen was deployed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to provide comfort and relief for those attending the funerals of three police officers shot to death on July 17, 2016. Other deployments included traveling to Delaware for the funeral of a Delaware State Trooper shot and killed on April 26, 2017 and to Weymouth, Massachusetts, after a Weymouth police officer was shot to death on July 15, 2018.
In addition to funerals, the PBA Canteen has been put into service to assist in major events such as the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing where it provided relief and comfort for those working the expansive crime scene. The Canteen was further used as an aid station during the Watertown shootouts that resulted in the apprehension of one bomber and the death of the other. The PBA Canteen returns to Boston every April to support law enforcement during the annual running of the Boston Marathon. The Canteen also provides support for Chapter 37 of the Police Unity Tour during its three-day, 300-mile bicycle tour to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., that begins every ninth of May at the World Trade Center.
When the Port Authority Police Benevolent Association cites its phrase, “Always Honored, Never Forgotten” it is from the heart of every Port Authority PBA member to the entire American Law Enforcement Community.