March 3, 2017
By Silver Krieger
New York, NY – 85 Traffic Enforcement Agents were promoted from Level I to Level II in a ceremony on Wednesday, March 1st, at the Police Academy in College Point, NY. The duties of Level II include directing traffic, while at Level I, TEA’s write summonses. Level Two TEA’s must be on the job for at least one year before promotion, to complete their probationary period.
C.W.A. Local 1182 President Syed Rahim, which represents New York City Uniform Traffic & Sanitation Enforcement Agents, says that the number of those promoted is a new high, which will continue. “This is a great opportunity for those members now on the Level II job – they have a salary raise and new duties. Now, every six to eight weeks, we graduate over 100 level ones to the Level II upgrade. It was never like this before. This is a great achievement for our union, our executive board, and for my Presidency.” Rahim also says that the NYPD plan is for Level I to be abolished eventually.
The ceremony began with a video heralding the TEA’s as “the people who keep New York moving.” After the singing of the national anthem, Rabbi Dr. Alvin Kass, Chief Chaplain, NYC Police Department, offered an invocation, saying, “We are especially grateful for those of the TEA that are being elevated,” and asked, “Do Thou walk beside them.”
Deputy Chief Michael Pilecki addressed the TEA’s and some of their family members, saying, “You are all being recognized for the great job you do day in and day out.” He spoke of the difficulties of weather conditions, and irate motorists, and said their job was essential to keep traffic moving in NYC, which lets the economy flourish, students get to their studies, tourists travel, and families spend more time with their loved ones. “You make NYC safer for drivers and pedestrians alike,” he added.
Chief of Transportation Thomas M. Chan then handed out plaques to each TEA, and President Rahim shook each one’s hand.
Rabbi Kass gave a benediction, saying, “Bless them in their going forth,” and a verse from God Bless America was sung.
The agents gathered afterwards to enjoy a special cake, talk with each other, and their family members who came to support them. Philippe Pierre held his plaque while surrounded by his three daughters – Alyssa, Stacey and Alexandra. “It’s great,” he said of the promotion. “I’ve been Level I for two and a half years.” His plaque said “In recognition of dedication, superior achievement, and outstanding service.” Gem D. Hall was there with her husband, Frank, daughter Michean, and son Dane. “I’ve been Level I for two years,” she said. “This is an honor. I’m still going through the thrill of it, and feeling good.”