The Gray Riders

Published by April 14, 2017 11:37 pm 3 Comments

This film will premiere on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 8:00 pm.



THE GRAY RIDERS is a one-hour documentary airing this fall on Public Television that looks at the remarkable 100-year history of the New York State Police. The film features photographs and rare footage from the vast New York State Police archives along with dozens of interviews and comments from the men and women whose extraordinary service and dedication have made the State Police what it is today – one of the finest and most respected law enforcement agencies in the world.

In the Spring of 1913, Samuel Howell, the foreman of a construction firm, was attacked and robbed of the company’s payroll by four men on a rural road near the town of Bedford in Westchester County. He was shot seven times. Howell identified his attackers before he died, but the local police, fearful for their own safety, refused to pursue Howell’s assailants. They were never caught.

Mounted TrooperOutraged over Howell’s murder, Moyca Newell, who’s home Howell was building, along with Katherine Mayo, lead the effort to establish a police force that could protect the rural communities of New York State.

The Department of the New York State Police was called to duty on April 11th, 1917. That fall the first 232 troopers rode out of the New York State Fair Grounds on horseback to begin patrolling New York’s rural areas. Then as today, troopers have been there to fulfill the law enforcement needs of the people of New York State with the highest degree of fairness, professionalism, and integrity.

2017 marks 100 years of service for The New York State Troopers.


In addition to the documentary, WSKG will also distribute THE GRAY RIDERS classroom elements, connecting future generations with the history of the New York State Troopers.

The Gray Riders


Brian Frey is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker who has been making documentary films for public television for more than 20 years. Several of his films have aired nationally on PBS including Link: The Quiet Genius, and Watkins Glen: The Street Years. He has been nominated for 12 New York State Emmy awards for writing and producing, winning three. He has Won 11 New York State Broadcaster awards for Best Documentary. A selection of his work includes Harvest, Glenn Curtiss: The Forgotten Eagle, The Flood of ‘35, Cornell: Birth of the American University, and the profiles of industrial giants Johnson and Watson. In 2004 he was one of only 20 producers selected nationally to attend the WGBH filmmakers Academy in Boston.

Press Release – How the Gray Riders Brought Law and Order to Rural New York 100 Years Ago

Thank you to our sponsor


For sponsorship opportunities around production of THE GRAY RIDERS, contact Michael Grasso at or 607.729.0100 x307.




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  • John Reidy

  • I am the son of an original ‘Campman” a brother to another trooper and an uncle to a third.

    • Mr. Keeley, such a trooper connection in your family! Glad you’re aware of our upcoming film.

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