NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - The New York State Police is celebrating 100 years.
On April 11, 1917, Gov. Charles Whitman signed legislation establishing the State Police as a full-service police department. That summer, more than 200 recruits began training at Camp Newayo in Manlius near Syracuse. When they graduated in the fall, the troopers reported for their first assignment protecting the New York State Fair, then got on horse to policing the state's rural areas.
"The New York State Police built a 100-year legacy of innovation and excellence in public service, giving it the well-deserved recognition as one of the most highly-respected law enforcement agencies in the nation," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in statement. "From Buffalo to Plattsburgh to New York City and everywhere in between, Troopers put their own safety on the line each day to protect all of us. I join the State Police in celebrating this important milestone, and on behalf of all New Yorkers, I congratulate and thank all Troopers for their outstanding service."
Cuomo issued a proclamation declaring April 11 New York State Police Day.
Police officials on Tuesday marked the occasion by dedicating a state historical marker in Manlius to honor the centennial.
As part of the ongoing celebration, each State Police Troop will host an open house for New Yorkers through October. The State Police will unveil an exhibit at the State Fair in August.
To mark the anniversary Tuesday night, the Empire State Building in New York City, the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, and Niagara Falls will be lit purple and gray, the colors of the State Police.