More than 1,000 people enjoyed demonstrations and history at the barracks on Route 332.

FARMINGTON — More than 1,000 people swarmed the grounds of State Police Troop E Saturday afternoon.

They watched as helicopters twisted and turned, underwater recovery divers plunged, Special Operations Response Team (SORT) members rappelled from the sky, and police dogs ferreted out “explosives” and followed the scent of a “missing person.”

An open house marked the 100th anniversary of the State Police and the 50th year of Troop E, said Maj. Rick Allen, Troop E commander.

“We’re inviting the public in to see the tradition, the memorabilia from when we first were formed in 1917, how many things have stayed the same and how technology has changed,” said Allen.

And how well troopers do their job, Allen added.

“We had a canine demonstration earlier,” he said. “Our aviation unit is second to none. Our SORT team, which is a little more advanced than a SWAT team, is full time and they’re some of the best skilled people in the state.”

Demonstrations also were done by Troop E’s scuba team, among others.

Both Allen and Trooper Mark O'Donnell emphasized that so many from the community have a limited idea of what the State Police really do.

“They think we only work on the highways and Thruway and expressways and write tickets, and I think it’s imperative that people know that we’re a full-service agency,” said O’Donnell. “We handle everything from tickets and highway safety to homicides. So that includes burglaries, disputes, domestics — we get called to everything.”

And part of that role is to partner with the municipal police departments and 10 county sheriff’s departments in Troop E’s coverage area.

“We have great relationships, and I think that’s what makes this troop stand out,” said O’Donnell. “We work very well with other agencies — we always have. The purpose is to keep people safe.”

Part of that means aiding local law enforcement officers when needed.

“I don’t care what color your uniform is, what color your car is, if you’re a police officer, you’re a brother to me, and I’ll lay down my life for any one of my family members — State Police, Sheriff’s Department, civilians, and I know I speak for just about every law enforcement officer that works,” O’Donnell said. “It’s important that the public realizes that, too. We’re all on the same side. It’s us against the evil, and hopefully we win.”

A $9 million, 13,000-square-foot expansion and 4,000-square-foot training addition set for completion this year should help. The new forensics and computer crimes building will include state-of-the-art equipment that will benefit multiple agencies.

As for the well-attended open house under sunny skies, Allen said he hopes it will let community members know that Troop E’s finest are “here to protect them.”

“We want them to see what we have to offer,” he said. “We’re here to help.”