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PHOTOS: MTA Police Officers Graduate from the NYPD Academy

Updated May 6, 2024 7:45 p.m.
PHOTOS: MTA Police Officers Graduate from the NYPD Academy

Gun & Shield Ceremony Held Friday, May 3

View Photos of the Ceremony Here

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced 33 MTA Police Officers graduated from the NYPD Academy following the completion of the Recruit Training Curriculum to serve and protect the community. On Friday, May 3, 2024, the MTA Police held the traditional, “Gun and Shield Day,” where graduating officers are given their official police badge and service firearm.

“We are excited to welcome these officers to the force and join the team of our dedicated law enforcement officers,” said MTA Police Department Chief of Operations Thomas J. Taffe. “They have demonstrated their commitment to public safety through weeks of multifaceted training and I look forward to the start of their careers, upholding the values of the MTA Police Department of professionalism and integrity.”

Following a six-month training program, the officers receive their police badge by loved ones, family members with careers in law enforcement, or from someone in public safety who has had an impact in their life and career. To highlight, among today’s graduating class, there were three officers who received their badge from their fathers with a career in law enforcement:

  • John Q. Bennett received his police badge from his father Darren Bennett, an active MTAPD officer, and was assigned a police badge number right after his father’s, 2551, after his father’s, 2550.


  • John Edward Decker received his police badge from his father, Richard Decker, a highly-decorated retired Westchester County Police Sergeant.


  • Ryan Szaniszlo received his police badge from his father, Joseph Szaniszlo, a retired NYPD Officer.

Officer Nicholas Barbero received his police badge from Anthony Barbero, a retired special agent with the Treasury Department and Kristian Mondesir received his badge from Kevin Williams, Assistant Chief, Commander of Queens South for NYPD. Officer Christopher J. Doyle received his police badge from William Beato, an ex-Massapequa Fire Department Chief.

Following today’s ceremony, the graduating officers will enter the second stage of their training as police officers: three months of in-service field training with other MTAPD officers.

Last week, the Board approved a lease for an MTA Police Department training space in Queens, a significant step towards the MTAPD’s transition of creating a dedicated academy for its police department, with instructors with MTAPD careers. Currently, MTAPD officers graduate from the NYPD Academy.

The MTA Police Department is primarily responsible for patrolling and securing Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, MTA yards and shops, and the over 5,000-square mile footprint of the MTA’s commuter railroads from Montauk to Poughkeepsie. MTA police officers work in nine districts across 14 counties in New York and Connecticut.