Meet the NFTA Transit Police
Chief George W. Gast
George W. Gast was appointed as the fourth Chief of Police for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police Department on March 1, 2010. Gast began his law enforcement career in 1982 as a patrol officer for the Willoughby, Ohio Police Department. In 1984 Gast entered on duty with the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent assigned to the Waterbury Connecticut Resident Agency, New Haven Division. In 1986, Gast was selected from the ranks of the FBI to become one of 50 Special Agents assigned to the Hostage Rescue Team. The HRT is a full time national level tactical team prepared to deploy to any location throughout the world to conduct a successful rescue of U.S. persons who may be held illegally by domestic criminals or international terrorists.
In 1990 Gast was transferred to the Buffalo, New York office of the FBI where he served as the SWAT Team Leader, Principal Firearms Instructor, and was tasked with investigating organized crime, gangs, narcotics violations, bank robberies, and crimes against children among other federal investigations. In 1997 Gast was named a Supervisory Special Agent in the Buffalo, NY FBI Field Office. In this capacity Gast was responsible for the supervision of the Violent Crime Major Offender Squad, the Organized Crime/Drug Squad and the Buffalo Violent Crime Career Criminal Task Force. Gast also served as an FBI certified undercover agent and functioned in numerous undercover operations throughout the United States. In November 2004, Gast retired from the FBI to accept a position as the Assistant Federal Security Director for Law Enforcement for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Gast resides in Buffalo with his wife, Penelope. They have three children, Meighan Lloyd, George Ryan Gast and Barrett Gast, and two grandchildren, Magnus and Maeve.
Captain Chris N. Chiodo
A police officer for over 24 years, Chiodo started as a patrolman on the Metro Light Rail Rapid Transit System. In 1994 Chiodo was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, transferred to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and served as the assistant Security Coordinator and Canine Supervisor. Shortly after 9/11 Chiodo was appointed Airport Security Coordinator, which serves as a liaison between federal, state, local law enforcement agencies, and their interaction with airport tenants, along with overseeing, implementing and enforcing all security related matters.
In 2004 Chiodo was promoted to the rank of captain and placed in command of the Airports Division, consisting of both the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport. Duties include enforcement of aviation security and law enforcement regulations, planning and implementation of all policy and procedures related to airport security operations, managing four shift lieutenants, 35 plus patrol officers, six canine teams, and one detective. In 2007, Chiodo became the commander of the newly formed Tactical Response unit.
Captain Chiodo has attended numerous law enforcement schools and seminars which include - Crisis Negotiation hosted by the FBI, Dignitary Protection hosted by the US Secret Service and SWAT Supervision and Command school hosted by the National Tactical Officers Association. He has been assigned as the airports lead officer for three presidential visits, numerous foreign dignitaries and notable celebrities.
Chiodo has been awarded two command citations, several commendations from outside federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and a distinguished letter of appreciation from the White House.
Chiodo resides in the Town of Hamburg with his wife Deborah, daughters Kelli and Michelle and has a stepson Scott, who presently serves as a Seabee in the US Navy.
Officer Green and Harry
Officer Green and been with the K9 division for 16 years. K9 Harry is a four years old Belgian Tervuren. Harry has been in service for about two years now. All our K9's go home with officers at the end of thier shifts, so they become an important part of family life. Harry was trained by the United States Military and is presently assigned to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Harry is trained on a weekly basis to keep him proficient in all types of odors that he's been trained to detect.
Besides his airport duties, Harry and Green have been active in responding to various threats through out our communities. The team has worked in schools, stores, commercial businesses, sporting events and dignitary protection details. Just recently Green and Harry were went to Washington DC for the Nuclear Summit to assist the Secret Service in the protection of foreign dignitaries.
Officer Mike Baran and Travers
Officer Mike Baran has been with the NFTA Transit Police Department serving in Buffalo Niagara region since August 1998. He joined the K9 unit in 2006, and trained at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. Trained in explosives detection, Officer Baran works with Travers, his loyal K9 partner, who is a high energy, very motivated white Labrador Retriever. Travers was born at Lackland in November 2004 and named in honor of two victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001 who worked at the World Trade Center. Officer Baran was federally deputized by the U.S. Marshal's office to assist the Washington Metro Police Department at the Presidential Inauguration of 2009.
Captain Marty Curtis Jones
Marty Curtis Jones was born in Columbia, South Carolina to parents Bernice and John Earl Jones. He attended the Lackawanna School System in which he graduated from the Lackawanna Senior High School. He is married to Leverda Jones. They have two children from this union, Hailey and Marcellus.
Jones was awarded an athletic scholarship and attended Kent State University in Ohio. While there, he sustained an injury during his freshman and sophomore years. From there, Marty entered the armed forces and was Honorably Discharged.
Jones was one of the first candidates to enter the Police Academy for the start up of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police Department, in September 1984.
Jones is a graduate from the first Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police Academy held at Niagara Community College. He was hired as one of the first 35 Police Officers in December 1984. Through years of hard work and dedication, he was promoted through the ranks to his current position as Captain, Division Commander of Light Rail Rapid Transit. While employed with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police Department, numerous certificates and accommodations were awarded to him. He has more than 25 years in the department of which the last ten years were served in his current position.
Lieutenant Jason P. Porter
Graduated from Gannon University (Erie, PA) with a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice and played for the Gannon Golden Knight Baseball team on an athletic scholarship. Upon college graduation, Porter attended the Southern Tier Law Enforcement Academy, Corning Community College, graduating in June, 1998. He accepted a position with the Stueben County Sheriffs Department, working inside the Stueben County Jail, (Bath, NY) as a Jail Deputy July through November 1998. Porter was hired by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority in December '1998. Worked as a Patrol Officer, and Field Training Officer with the LRRT Division, working out of the headquarters located at 1404 Main Street. 2002 - 2005 Porter was an active member of the Departments “Pistol Team”. 1999 - present, coached and played for the NFTA PD softball tournament team.
December 2007 was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Completed Police Supervision School in October 2008. Soon to be placed in charge of the departments internship program, and head the departments training program. May 2010 accepted the responsibility of lead investigator of the LRRT division's “PSD”. Currently working out of LRRT Division and is working the relief supervisor's schedule.
Currently resides in Hamburg with his wife (Kristy) and two sons, Chase and Connor. Proud owner of an “old English” bulldog named Rocky. Hobbies include playing golf, softball, and attending sporting events.
Lieutenant Bruce Shafer
Currently assigned as a shift commander at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Joined the department in 1984 and attended the New York State Police Certification course held at Niagara County Community College. Started in patrolling subway stations, bus stations, boat harbor and airport. Worked in various details and with agencies including FBI, Immigration, Border Patrol and the DEA.