As Park Attendance Soars, NY Merges Park, State Police

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s governor says he’s put state police in charge of park police at a time of soaring attendance at state parks.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the change will make it easier to deploy state resources to parks visited by 74 million people a year.

Cuomo’s Tuesday memorandum waives age restrictions. About 270 park police officers can become troopers if they apply and meet training requirements including a background investigation. Officers who qualify to become troopers would then attend a shortened academy.

Such park officers can also remain in their current titles.

The governor says executive staff members will oversee the transition over the next six months. The Albany Times Union reports that the park police officers’union hopes the change will result in better disability and retirement benefits.

From www.timesunion.com