Alexandria Bay-- When we hear about police officers and state troopers our minds might take us to unpleasant memories when we received speeding tickets, got pulled over for a DUI or had an encounter with an officer of the law, due to having broken it. Or we may recall having to call 911 because our safety was at risk or we were in harms way.
But, that is not all they do and most of the population may not be aware that there is a special diving team. This is an elite group of 8 teams with a total of 68 divers statewide. This diving team has been around since 1932, 80 years. The Navy trained the divers with strict and challenging drills that weeded out the weak. Only the best make it through and get to be selected as one of the divers for the New York State Police.
These strong swimmers are not only trained to rescue drowning victims, but victims of hurricane Irene where the team rescued numerous individuals from flooded homes. The team was able to make the rescue possible by deploying air-boats, which took the crew out to the Binghamton, Conklin areas. Utilizing the Saint Lawrence and Black River in Watertown, New York, specifically Thousand Island region, the team will continue their all day training. ABC50 interviewed division diving officer, Sergeant Thomas Barden for some unheard stories of what the diving teams have encountered in the past.