Beginning in October of 1996 through December of 1996 discussions were held between the LIRR PBA and MTA Chairman E. Virgil Conway regarding the twenty year pension bill that was passed during the 1996 legislative session in Albany, and subsequently vetoed by Governor Pataki.
After numerous meetings, the talk of a merger between the LIRR Police and the Metro North Police was brought to the table by the MTA. Meetings were held between representatives of the MTA, the LIRR PBA and the Metro North PBA. Representing the MTA was Labor Relations Director Gary Delaverson and MTA Executive Director Marc Shaw. Representing the LIRR PBA were President Stuart Sanseviro and First V.P. Raymond Gimmler. The Metro North PBA was represented by President Robert Novy. Counsel to both unions, Ronald Davis, was legal counsel throughout the negotiations.
Consequently, an agreement was reached on a merger of the two departments, which would provide the membership of both unions with a twenty-year pension plan that would mirror the N.Y. State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System. Said pension plan would be administered by the MTA. Both PBA Presidents and MTA Executive Director Marc Shaw signed a letter of understanding. Also, the agreement would mandate one collective bargaining unit for both the LIRR and Metro North PBA’s. It also further expanded the duties of the new police department to all MTA properties and that of their subsidiaries.
On June 24, 1997 Ray Gimmler introduced the agreed upon legislation in Albany (Senate # 5634a). The Senate and Assembly passed the bill prior to the close of session in July.
The bill was sent to Governor Pataki and was signed into law on July 30, 1997, chapter # 327 of the laws of 1997.
The two departments began the task of merging the departments immediately and on January 1, 1998 the two departments officially became the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department.
On February 9, 1998 Thomas J. Savage of the New York City Transit was named Acting Chief of the MTA PD. Numerous promotions, assignments and consolidations shortly followed to better streamline the operations of the department. Chief Savage also budgeted for an additional twenty-five patrol cars for the department as well as upgrades to the communications system.
Additionally, Chief Savage hired eleven new officers and they were assigned to the NYC Police Academy.
On August 10, 1998 the members of both unions voted and formed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Benevolent Association.
The Executive Board consisted of the following; Stu Sanseviro, President, Raymond Gimmler, Executive Vice President, Robert Novy, Area V.P. North, Michael O’Meara, Area V.P. East, Brian Pryor, Treasurer, Gary Scerbo, Recording Secretary, and John Uebel, Corresponding Secretary.
In addition eight Trustees’, four from each region, and two Trustee’s representing supervisors, one for each region took office.
The MTA PBA opened its new office located at 134 Rockaway Avenue, Valley Stream, NY on September 10, 1998, closing the former PBA offices located in Hempstead and Yonkers. On September 14th, the first Executive Board meeting was held at the MTA PBA office.
Shortly thereafter the PBA and MTA tentatively agree to a new collective bargaining agreement covering work rules, health care benefits, and equalization of pay for former Metro North officers with former LIRR officers. The agreement is overwhelmingly ratified by members of the PBA and also ratified by the MTA Board.
The President of the MTA PBA, Stu Sanseviro retired on October 6, 1998. Raymond Gimmler becomes President of the PBA and appoints Michael O’Meara as Executive V.P. and Vincent Provenzano as Area V. P. East.
On October 7th, the PBA holds a testimonial retirement dinner in honor of Stu Sanseviro. Dignitaries in attendance were Congressman Peter King, Senator Charles Fuschillo, Assemblywomen Donna Ferrara, and Kathleen Murray, and MTA Chairman E. Virgil Conway. Mr. Sanseviro received proclamations for his years of service from the U.S. Congress, Governor Pataki, the N.Y. State Senate, and the N.Y. State Assembly. Mr. Sanseviro also received a variety of recognition awards from many PBA and union leaders.
In February of 1999 retired Lt. Colonel James O’Donnell of the NY State Police is appointed Chief of the MTA PD replacing Chief Savage who returns to the NYC Transit Authority. Shortly after his appointment, Chief O’Donnell appoints Daniel Brown as Chief of Detectives and Eugene Cochran as Chief of Field Command. Both are former members of the New York State Police.
June 14, 2002 President Gimmler signs agreement to form new canine unit.
June 28, 2004 President Gimmler signs agreement to form new emergency service unit.
May 25, 2005 agreement signed to merge Staten Island Operating Authority Police Department in to the MTA Police Department.
July 1, 2007 after numerous Academy classes and appointments from other Police Agencies the MTA PBA has grown to over 650 represented members.