Thompson Set To Honor State Police Brass At 37th Annual Nys Annual Black & Puerto Rican Caucus

Antoine M Thompson

February 11, 2008

Honorees are the first minorities to hold respective positions in 90-year history of NY State Police

Albany, NY- Antoine M. Thompson, New York State Senator (D-60, Parts of Erie & Niagara Counties)  is scheduled to recognize and present an award this weekend at the 37th Annual Black & Puerto Rican, and Asian Legislative Caucus. The Caucus takes place in Albany from Friday, February 15th until Sunday, February 17th and contains a host of informative and progressive workshops, seminars, and legislative receptions. 

The second year Senator will present the Professional Trailblazer Award to New York State Police (NYSP) Acting Superintendent Preston Felton and NYSP Deputy Superintendent Field Commander Pedro Perez. The Professional Trailblazer Award is being given to both men in recognition of their merit-based accomplishments as they have become the first minorities throughout the 90-year history of the New York State Police to hold their positions of leadership: number one and number three respectively.

In 2001, Felton was promoted to Lt. Colonel in the Human Resources Office and ascended to the rank of First Deputy in 2003, where he served as second-in-command of the NYSP. In 2006, Governor Eliot Spitzer appointed him as the first African-American to lead the New York State Police. Since then, Acting Superintendent Felton has reaffirmed the value of a diverse workforce and has continued efforts which demonstrate his commitment to the men and women of the agency. He is still awaiting confirmation by the New York State Senate.

March 8, 2007, Pedro J. Perez became the first Hispanic of the NYSP to have attained the rank of Colonel, being assigned to head the Internal Affairs Bureau. On December 15, 2007, he was elevated to Field Commander, the number three position in the NYSP.  As Field Commander, Colonel Perez oversees the Uniform Force, the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the Office of Counter Terrorism and all of the associated special details of these units. Both men are graduates of the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Both honorees will receive their awards at the Conference of Black Senators’ Awards Ceremony scheduled for Saturday, February 16th from 3:00pm-5:00pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, located at 10 Eyck Plaza (corner of State & Lodge Streets).

“I am thrilled at the opportunity to recognize these two outstanding gentlemen. Their ascension through the ranks of the New York State Police is a testament to show that consistent hard work and determination pays off… serving as true role models for our young men and women of color,” stated Antoine M. Thompson, New York State Senator, 60th District.