The New York State Police (NYSP) is the official state police force of the U.S. state of New York and employs over 5,000 sworn state troopers and 711 civilian members. It is part of the New York State Executive Department, ref. Executive Law § 31.
The State of New York did not establish a state police force until the early twentieth century. In part this reflected the pattern of settlement across a wide frontier. A number of proposals to create such a force during the early 1900s, but faced considerable opposition from trade union interests. They feared the police would be used against union organizing, as was happening in several other states.
Following the 1913 murder of Sam Howell, a construction foreman in Westchester County, and failure of the local police to arrest suspects he had named before his death, the New York State Legislature passed a bill to establish a state police force. The New York State Police was officially established on April 11, 1917.
The division's first superintendent was George Fletcher Chandler, who was appointed by Governor Charles S. Whitman. Chandler is credited with much of the division's early organization and development. Chandler coined the term "New York State Troopers." He was an early advocate of officers carrying their weapons exposed on a belt, which was not common practice at the time.
On January 1, 1980, the Long Island State Parkway Police merged with the state police; this resulted in the official establishment of Troop L. In October 1997, the New York State Capital Police was consolidated and absorbed into the state police. As of late, there has been political debate concerning the New York State Park Police merging with the New York State Police. On December 3, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Park Police will merge with the New York State Police. The merger was expected to take about six months. However, as of December 2020 no concrete plan for a merger has been developed.
The New York State Police is also responsible for protecting the Governor of New York and the Lieutenant Governor of New York.
The New York State Police is one of only five state police agencies in the United States, that as of 2019, does not equip its state police vehicles with dashboard cameras. New York State Troopers have not been supplied with body cameras, either. Both tools have been significant in clearing police in wrongful use of force cases.