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'Hidden' Port Authority Police Inspectors At Bridges, Tunnels, Seaport Make Your Ride Safer

PAPD CVI Francis Franco inspecting a commercial vehicle.
PAPD CVI Francis Franco inspecting a commercial vehicle. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Port Authority Police Department

On any given day, thousands of trucks travel through Port Authority’s seaport, tunnels and bridges. They’re routinely monitored by Port Authority police officers on the lookout for traffic violations.

In the background, however, a specialized group of officers roves among the facilities seeking to ensure trucks have no mechanical or other operational issues that might pose a serious safety risk to the traveling public.

The Port Authority Commercial Vehicle Inspection unit (CVI) provides that extra layer of vehicular protection for drivers and passengers alike. Formed in 1998, members of the CVI routinely climb up, below and around stopped trucks, checking for dysfunctional axles, tires, brakes and lights. Trucks with serious safety defects are pulled out of service until repairs can be made.

In 2019 alone, the unit inspected 4,637 suspect vehicles at Port Authority crossings and port facilities, with 470 of them taken out of service.

“Every truck we knock out of service is a potential AI (accident investigation) because we are knocking them out of service for no brakes, no steering, when they’re heavy and that the vehicle is operating in an unsafe manner because of a mechanical issue,” said PAPD Officer Michael Kostelnik, a 21-year veteran, during a recent shift monitoring trucks on the New Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel. CONTINUED HERE....

Part of the CVI team outside the Holland Tunnel

COURTESY: Port Authority Police Department

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