RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It’s a job that takes troopers to amazing heights and sometimes into mysterious and dark waters. The New York State Police Underwater Recovery Team has 59 on-call divers statewide, ready to jump into service at a moment’s notice.
For Troop G—based in Latham, New York—a new generation of troopers like Kai Garlipp has joined the ranks. Garlipp says he signed up after talking with other divers on the team.
NEWS10 caught up with Garlipp and several other new members of the team while they trained in the Hudson River next to the Rensselaer Boat Launch.
“We have a lot of experienced members already on the team, and they have a lot of experience. And they are getting up there in terms of time on the job and getting ready to retire. So I think it’s trying to take in as much information from my senior members and carry on the great track record that they have,” said Garlipp.
The goal of this training session is to find a lead pipe. But that’s like finding a needle in a haystack within these murky waters. “We keep the training going so you don’t have to think. It’s just muscle memory. You can’t panic. those extra steps are there for rescue divers to make sure that we don’t have two victims,” said URT’s Senior Diver Trooper Dave Fisher. “So training is important.”
He says the skills honed during training will be used while responding to real emergencies like boating accidents, drownings, and flooding. But the team is also vital in solving crimes by searching for weapons or evidence tossed into waterways.
In 2015, the Troop G team recovered the body of Noel Alkaramla in a suitcase that had been tossed into the Hudson. Their work helped convict her killer.
“We’re down there grabbing those things down there that most of the time nobody would be able to find.”
When not assigned to a dive detail, these troopers patrolling our roadways. And if you need help, it’s a good thing there are troopers like Garlipp and his teammates who are ready to rush in. The Underwater Recovery Team began in 1932 and is the oldest and largest public safety dive team in the country.