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.