Marine Patrol Unit of the United States Park Police was established in
the New York Field Office in the 1970’s to patrol the 19,000 acres of
water, islands, and marshes of Jamaica Bay, a unit of the Gateway National
Recreation Area. The first full fleet consisted of a 21’ Mako, and two
27’ Grover boats. Today, the Jamaica Bay Marine Patrol Unit vessels include
a 34’ aluminum catamaran with turbo diesels and jet drives. It has the
unique ability to handle rough ocean seas and also operate in the extremely
shallow marsh areas surrounding JFK International Airport which makes
it an invaluable tool in the mission to combat terrorism and respond
to a downed aircraft in the marshland. The unit also has a 41’ aluminum
patrol boat acquired from the U.S. Coast Guard as well as a small unmarked
On September 11th, 2001 the Marine Patrol Unit (MPU) expanded to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, a direct result of the terrorist attacks. Since that time the Marine Patrol Unit has provided 24/7 patrol and enforcement of the security zones of Liberty and Ellis Island. The current fleet of the Liberty District has two Sea Arks, a 25’ outboard powered vessel and a 44’ Dauntless Series patrol boat. The most recent addition to the fleet is a second Moose Boat. Marine 6 is a 44’ catamaran capable of handling offshore heavy weather with in-shore shallow water capabilities. She is powered by twin 600 horsepower diesels and propelled by water jets.
The missions of the Marine Patrol Unit include emergency response, search and rescue, personnel transport, dignitary transports/escorts, and providing mutual aid to the U.S. Coast Guard, New York City Police Department Harbor Patrol and other local municipalities. The Jamaica Bay Unit MPU specializes in enforcement of resource management violations while also providing dignitary security for flights in and out of J.F.K. Airport. The Liberty District MPU focuses on anti-terrorism patrol and security of the harbor icons.
The Marine Patrol Unit has been involved with multiple high profile incidents over the years. Most recently, Marine 7 was one of the first vessels on scene for the crash of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River. The Marine Patrol Unit was also featured on the cover of Boat US Magazine “The Boats that Moved Manhattan” for assistance with evacuating Manhattan Island on the morning of September 11th, 2001.
The unit currently consists of 17 officers and 2 sergeants. All of the Marine Patrol Unit officers receive extensive training prior to permanent assignment to the unit. Upon conclusion of their probationary period, officers must attend the Marine Law Enforcement Training Program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). MPU officers will also attend Sea School to become licensed captains through the U.S. Coast Guard.