Statement about report on search for Ralph Phillips

The State Troopers PBA is pleased to see that the State Police internal review on the search for Ralph Phillips is finally being released to the public. It is important that this document be in the open for further analysis, and to ensure that any suggestions for improvement are not ignored.

Following last summer’s search for Phillips, the PBA strongly criticized the State Police leadership for the handling of the search detail. Since then – and with the advent of a new Governor and a new State Police Superintendent – there have been some positive changes in the top levels of leadership, as well as local command levels.

“The past year-and-a-half has been devastating for the PBA and our membership. We hope that with the public release of incident reviews such as the search for Ralph Phillips, there will be an ongoing dialogue on safety issues, which we have seen are of life-and-death importance,” said PBA First Vice President Thomas H. Mungeer.

The PBA has not received a copy of the report yet, so we are unable to comment on the contents of the report at this time. We also cannot comment on portions of the report that have been obtained by the media, as we are not able to determine each portion’s significance in the context of the entire document.

Until the PBA receives a copy of the State Police internal review and has time to thoroughly analyze its contents, we are unable to say whether we believe an independent investigation into the handling of the search for Phillips is still warranted.

More than 6,500 active and retired, uniformed members of the New York State Police from the rank of Trooper through the rank of Major are represented by the State Troopers PBA.