A rare look at the intense NYPD Emergency Service training

Kemberly Richardson Image
Friday, May 14, 2021
A rare look at the intense NYPD ESU training
When there is zero room for error, and when time is of the essence, an elite team of NYPD officers is on speed dial.

MARINE PARK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- When there is zero room for error, and when time is of the essence, an elite team of NYPD officers is on speed dial.

"We handle anything, anytime, anywhere, whenever cops call upon us, there is saying in this unit that we never say no - we get it done," said NYPD ESU Lieutenant Keith Gallagher.

Before officers join the department's Emergency Service Unit, they must first make it through a rigorous training course - it is seven and a half months long, during which, vets like Lieutenant Gallagher show them the ropes.

"If you're claustrophobic, you won't make it here," Lt. Gallagher said.

From their base at Floyd Bennet Field, Eyewitness News got a rare look at just how intense their training is.

Chris Bamfo is a marine who worked at precincts in Queens but says ESU was his calling.

"With the 18 years of military experience, each disciple is challenging me mentally and physically in ways I never felt I'd be pushed," said Bamfo.

The course is broken down into five disciples, including a rescue technique maneuver, which was initially part of what to date is the unit's most challenging job ever.

"On 9/11 they had officers ready to repel down the to the roof, but it became too dangerous," said Lt. Gallagher.

In the tactical house, officers train for several different scenarios - a hostage situation, facing an emotionally disturbed person, and armed suspects barricaded in a closet.

"We compartmentalize and we break the job down and we go slow," Lt. Gallagher added.

In one scenario an officer posed as someone I crisis - they are trained to use nonlethal tactics.

"Most of these people don't get listened to, and we're the shoulder they need to listen to," Lt. Gallagher said.

Getting to the training is not easy. From a pool of roughly 350 applicants, only about 35 are chosen.

The latest group is set to graduate on July 2 - for Lt. Gallagher, it is a proud moment and a passing of the torch.

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