Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

July 21, 2022

Dan Keefe
(518) 486-1868 |

New York State Announces $15,000 Pay Increase to Attract and Retain State Parks, SUNY Police Officers in Mid-Hudson and Downstate Facilities

Sign up for law enforcement civil service exam by August 10 

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks), the State University of New York (SUNY) and the Department of Civil Service today announced a $15,000 Geographic Pay Differential has been approved for Police Officer and Investigator titles located in mid-Hudson and downstate areas. The measure will help the agency address critical recruitment and retention challenges for police officers in mid-Hudson and downstate regions. 

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "Our Park Police are crucial to ensuring the health, welfare and public safety at New York's State parks, historic sites, campgrounds, and trails that welcomed a record-setting 78.4 million visits last year. I'm grateful to Governor Hochul for approving a much-needed Geographic Pay Differential for our Park Police Officers, which will help us to retain our well-trained personnel and will encourage more people to consider a career with the New York State Park Police."  

Department of Civil Service Commissioner Timothy R. Hogues said, "New York State's law enforcement personnel help keep us safe, and that includes our Park Police who patrol our beautiful waterways and parks and our SUNY police who protect our college campuses. This pay increase for our police officers in the downstate regions will help our partner agencies retain these talented and dedicated employees, and is one of the many efforts the Department of Civil Service is undertaking to ensure our compensation is competitive to attract the next generation of talent to public service careers. I encourage all New Yorkers who may be interested in a career in law enforcement to sign up now to take the entry-level law enforcement exam."  

SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said, "Community policing is integral to keeping our campuses safe, and we appreciate the outstanding officers amongst the SUNY family. This significant pay increase championed by our Governor allows our downstate colleges and universities to be more competitive in attracting and retaining top talent. We have opportunities for qualified candidates who aspire to serve New Yorkers and the thousands who live, work, or visit SUNY, and we look forward to building and diversifying our team." 

The increase would boost the starting salary for police officers in affected titles from $63,034 to $78,034 effective July 21. The raise will help address a disparity in compensation between the State and competing employers in Mid-Hudson and downstate areas.  

Individuals who are contemplating a career with the New York State Park Police or SUNY can apply for New York State's entry-level law enforcement civil service exam by August 10, 2022.  People interested in being considered for entry-level law enforcement positions within state government must first meet the minimum qualifications for the title or titles of interest and register for the civil service exam by submitting all the required information here. The exam, a multiple-choice test, will be offered during the fall. For more information, visit here.  

In addition, to bolster the ranks of Park Police, State Parks is screening recruits for a new six-month Police Training Academy scheduled to begin Oct. 30. 

The mission of the New York State Park Police is to provide total police services in support of the mission of the agency, and where possible, to extend those services to every citizen of the State as needed. In addition to ensuring the safety of patrons, year-rounds Park Police protect OPRHP facilities in 287 OPRHP sites in a variety of terrain and environments, rural and urban.