Telling it


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On Patrol
The Early Days

[see large picture]

Not long after he graduated from the State Police Academy, William Galik (second row from the back, center) joined the Turnpike’s Troop D, and remembers that it wasn’t always easy out on the road. As he tells it, they had to cover huge distances with a limited force.

It was New Jersey Governor Alfred Driscoll who suggested that a specific division of the New Jersey State Police be used to patrol the Turnpike, with the Authority reimbursing the state for all costs. The primary function of “Troop D” was to assist motorists in need of service and enforce regulations governing traffic on the Turnpike. The first detachment was made up of only 38 troopers, and it would be a whole year before another 24 were added; the number was then increased yearly. As of August 2002, Troop D counted 216 troopers among its ranks.

Photograph, 33rd New Jersey State Police class, 1947
Courtesy of William and Shirley Galik