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Valley Streamer gets NYC DEP promotion

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Longtime Valley Streamer Peter Fusco has been promoted to acting assistant commissioner for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection police, the agency reported in a release in mid December.

Fusco, a 46-year member of the Valley Stream Fire Department was appointed to the DEP Police in December, 2009 after his retirement at the rank of captain from the New York City Police Department. He served in the NYPD for 22 years.

“I want to congratulate these longstanding members of our police division who earned their promotions today,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said in a statement. “These four supervisors set high standards for the 230 uniformed officers who protect New York City’s water supply and the lands that surround it. Their dedication to public safety and public health across decades of service is a model for all the officers within the division. Congratulations to them and their families.”

Fusco was among four senior DEP police officials who earned promotions.

Established more than a century ago, the DEP Police Division is charged with protecting the city’s water supply system, which includes two dozen reservoirs and lakes, more than 2,000 square miles of watershed land across nine counties, hundreds of miles of tunnels and aqueducts, dozens of dams, treatment plans, laboratories and other facilities.

DEP police officers patrol the NYC watershed on foot, bicycle, all-terrain vehicle, motorcycle, boat and helicopter, and also maintain detective, emergency service, canine and aviation units. Currently the DEP Police Division has is made up of 230 sword officers, according to the agency. 

The division’s origins go back to the Bureau of Water Supply Police, which was created through the 1905 Water Supply Act, along with the New York City Water Board, which sets water and sewer rates for the city. The agencies were established as the city’s water supply infrastructure continued to expand upstate to meet increasing demand.

The DEP helps provide more than 1 billion gallons of water to more than 9.3 million New Yorkers, including residents outside of the city in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties, which combined consume on average 110 million gallons of water a day from the New York City supply system.

The water comes from the Catskill, Delaware and Croton watershed that extend more than 125 miles from the city. The system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled, lakes and a number of tunnels and aqueducts. The DEP employs nearly 6,000 people including roughly 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals.

The agency invests more than $1.7 billion in its efforts to protect the city’s water supply including $70 million in payroll expenses and $168.9 in taxes paid to upstate counties that house the watershed’s the system relies on.

The DEP also has $20.1 billion capital program, which the agency estimates would create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year as it repairs, upgrades and maintains the city’s water infrastructure.