In 1994 Rick Rutel started NY XVIII when he found out that the original members of NY XVIII were going to let the chapter fold after only one year in existence. Rick contacted the Tri-State Conference Board and was told that he needed to apply for a new charter but would be allowed to keep the existing chapter number. That was when the present NY XVIII became a brand new chapter. At that time Rick and John Gianos were members of CT VII. The founding members of NY XVIII were:
- President: Rick Rutel (Yorktown Hts. Police Officer)
- V. President: Joe Olenik (NYS University Police)
- Secretary: John Gianos (Rockland County S.O.)
- Treasurer: Ron Serao (Rockland County S.O.)
- Directors: Kevin King (Yorktown P.D.), Bill Griggs (Yorktown P.D.), Joe Maschak (Yonkers P.D.)
- Members: George Davis (Yorktown P.D.), Gary Fister (Yorktown P.D.), and Kevin Soravilla ( Yorktown P.D.).
The charter was issued by the then Tri-State Conference Board using John Gianos' home in Rockland County as the contact address.
NY XVIII continued to grow in the early '90's under the leadership of Rick, and the word got out that we were a fun Chapter who liked to go on dinner rides every Wednesday night. Soon members of other Chapters started to meet up and join our rides, and a great time was had by all.
By 1996 the Chapter had grown to a membership of 20 plus active members. Rick was appointed New York Rep. to the Tri-State Conference and in the Fall of 1996 Rick stepped down as the President of NY XVIII and turned the reigns over to Russ Harper, a Police Sergeant with the Croton-on-Hudson PD, who became the Chapter President. Over the next couple of years the Chapter continued to grow under the leadership of Russ. Rick eventually retired from the PD and moved with his family to Florida where he is now an active member of BLUE KNIGHTS FL XV.
Over the next six years, under Russ Harper, the Chapter continued to grow to an active membership of over 50 members. As a result of this growth, the Chapter began holding their meetings at a restaurant instead of at individual homes. During this time period, the Chapter became a large supporter of the BLUE KNIGHTS COPS RUN to Washington, DC. as well as many other worthy charities. The Chapter continued the weekly Wednesday night dinner rides during the riding season, from the Bear Mountain Inn in Tompkins Cove, NY, and opens it's arms to any and all BLUE KNIGHTS who wish to join us for good times and friendship. In 2002 Russ Harper was elected to the position of BLUE KNIGHTS Tri-State Chairman, and stepped down as Chapter President, turning the reigns over to recently elected Chapter president, Guy Cook.
Guy Cook began his Law Enforcement career in 1975 as an Officer with the New Jersey State Campus Police Department. He remained a Campus Officer until being hired to the Palisades Interstate Parkway Police in 1980. Guy retired from the PIP PD in 2002 as a Sergeant. Guy, who joined the Chapter in 1995, had previously served as a Chapter Director in 1996 and Vice President in 1997 until his election to President in 2002. Guy served 6 terms as President relinquishing his role in 2014 to concentrate on his role as Tri-State Chairman with Russ Harper now the Tri-State's International Representative. A role he continues to serve to this day. During Guy's tenure the Club continued to expand it's membership and support it's many charities. The weekly Wednesday night ride was switched to Tuesday to allow for the Classic Car Show that was occuring simultaneously. Guy and the membership began the the Annual COPSRUN ride to benefit the Concerns of Police Survivors Organization in 2006. The riding community is invited every year to participate in the Ride in an effort to raise funds for donation. 2006 also marked the first year NY18 received it's AMA Charter.
In 2015, Liz Cook, the wife of Guy Cook took over the Chapter's Presidency. Liz who retired in 2002 as a Police Officer with the NYPD spending her entire 20 year career in the Bronx's 44 Precinct was previous Chapter Secretary. Liz joined the Club with her husband in 1995 and became Director in 1996. She held this position until becoming Chapter Treasurer in 1997. She remained Treasurer until becoming Secretary in 2002 which was a position she maintained until being elected President. In 2006, Liz also became Vice President of Blue Knights Cops Run. A position she holds to present day. Liz hold two NY18 Chapter distinctions: Firstly she is the Chapter's first woman President and secondly she is the only President to actively participate in the Annual Stony Point Polar Plunge.
2017 saw Stanley G. Young become the current President of our Chapter. Stan was a Law Enforcement Professional for 4 decades having started in 1973 as a Part Time Police Officer of what was then known as the Interstate Parkway Police. Stan remained in this position until accepting a position of Deputy Sheriff with the Rockland Sheriffs Department in 1977. In 1980 he became a Police Officer with the Nyack Police Department. Stan enjoyed very much his 11 years serving the Nyack Community but on January 1, 1991, the Nyack Village Board voted to disband their Police Department. Under NYS law the townships with which within the Village of Nyack is situated were mandated to assume police services for the area lying within their borders. Stan became a Clarkstown Police Officer as the towns of Orangetown and Clarkstown absorbed the Officers previously assigned to Nyack PD. Stan served colorfully with Clarkstown PD from 2001 until his retirement in 2014. Stan joined the Chapter in 1994 and served as Secretary under Presidents Russ Harper and Guy Cook. He also served as Vice President under Guy and Liz Cook until voted President in 2017. Since becoming President some changes affected have been relocating our monthly meetings to City Line Family Restaurant in New City, NY and our Annual Guided COPSRUN Ride has been changed to a Poker Run.
As time progresses this Chapter will never forget it's early days. The friendships made will last a lifetime. Under the leadership of Stan and the continued support of our great members, BLUE KNIGHTS NY XVIII will continue to expand and continue to support local as well as national charities of interest. We will have great times riding our motorcycles together as it was meant to be.