The Full Wiki

New York City Police Department: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on New York City Police Department

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New York City Police Department
Common name New York Police Department
Abbreviation NYPD
New York City Police Department Patch
Police Department City of New York.svg
New York City Police Department logo
NYPD Badge.jpg
Shield of the New York City Police Department
Nypd flag.png
New York City Police Department flag
Motto Fidelis ad Mortem
Faithful Unto Death
Agency overview
Formed 1845
Preceding agency Municipal Police
Annual budget $3.9 Billion
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City of New York in the state of New York, USA
Map of New York Highlighting New York City.svg
Map of New York City Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size 468.9 square miles
Population 8,274,527
Legal jurisdiction As per operations jurisdiction.
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters One Police Plaza
Police Officers 35,284 (2009)
Auxiliary Police Officers

School Safety Agents
4,503 (2009)

5,147 (2009)
Police Commissioner responsible Raymond W. Kelly
Agency executive Joseph Esposito, Chief of Department
Commands 76 Precincts
12 Transit Districts
9 Housing Police Service Areas
Police cars 8,839
Police boats 11
Helicopters 8
Horses 120
Dogs 31 German Shepherds
3 Bloodhounds
Official Site
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD), established in 1845, is currently the largest police force in the United States,[1] with primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within the five boroughs of New York City. The NYPD was the first police department established in the United States.[2] It has its headquarters in Lower Manhattan, New York City.[3]



The NYPD has a broad array of specialized services, including tactical operations, K-9, harbor patrol, air support, bomb disposal, counter-terrorism, intelligence, anti-gang, narcotics, public transportation, and public housing. NYPD has extensive crime scene investigation and laboratory resources, as well as units which assist with computer crime investigations. The NYPD's headquarters at One Police Plaza houses an anticrime computer network, essentially a large search engine and data warehouse operated by detectives to assist officers in the field with their investigations.[4] According to the department, its mission is to "enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment."

The New York City Transit Police and Housing Police were fully integrated into the NYPD in 1995; police officers are randomly assigned to the Transit and Housing units upon graduation of the police academy.[citation needed] Members of the NYPD are frequently referred to by the nickname New York's Finest. The NYPD is headquartered at One Police Plaza located on Park Row across the street from City Hall.

The size of the force has fluctuated, depending on crime rates, politics, and available funding. The overall trend, however, shows that the number of sworn officers is decreasing.[citation needed] In June 2004, there were about 40,000 sworn officers plus several thousand support staff; In June 2005, that number dropped to 35,000. As of November 2007, it had increased to slightly over 36,000 with the graduation of several classes from the Police Academy. The NYPD's current authorized uniformed strength is 37,838.[5] There are also approximately 4,500 Auxiliary Police Officers, 5,000 School Safety Agents, 2,300 Traffic Enforcement Agents, and 370 Traffic Enforcement Supervisors currently employed by the department.


Salary and retention issues

The headquarters of the New York City Police Department in Lower Manhattan

After years of bitter wrangling that saw starting pay for new officers fall to as low as $25,100 a year, the city and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association on August 21, 2008 reached agreement on a new four-year contract.[6]

The contract, which runs from August 1, 2006 to July 31, 2010, gives police officers a 17 percent pay raise over its four-year life, and raises starting pay from $35,881 to $41,975, and top pay from $65,382 to approximately $76,000 annually. With longevity pay, holiday pay, night shift differential and other additions, the total annual compensation for officers receiving top pay will be approximately $91,823, not including overtime. It should also be noted that this is the first contract since 1994 the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the City of New York mutually agreed on without involving a mediator.[7][8] However, because the vast majority of police officers are paid significant overtime, base pay rates are misleading. Virtually no police officer works 40 hours per week and therefore take home pay including overtime ranges between about $65,000 at the bottom $125,000 for an officer with four to five years of experience (similar to the first year associate wage at top law firms for graduates of the nation's most prestigious law schools).[citation needed]

While an improvement on the expired contract, the new terms still leave a substantial gap between the NYPD and nearby departments that pay considerably more, up to $50,000 for new hires and over $100,000 for more experienced officers.[9] Over the years, hundreds of city officers have left for higher paying jobs with other agencies, notably the Nassau County Police Department, the Suffolk County Police Department, Westchester County police departments, and the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey.[10] Discontent over pay issues has become so widespread and so well-known that higher-paying departments in lower cost-of-living areas, such as the Rochester, New York Police,[11] the Albuquerque, New Mexico Police,[12] and the Seattle Police Department,[13] are actively recruiting NYPD officers to join their forces.

Police departments in neighboring Rockland County and Westchester County have top base salaries ranging from around $85,000 to $105,000, not counting longevity, uniform pay, overtime and benefits. In 2007 a Westchester County Department of Public Safety officer reportedly made over $250,000 (with overtime), making him the highest paid police officer in the United States.

Large numbers of NYPD officers have also migrated to the New York City Fire Department, where, even though pay is comparable with that of the NYPD, work schedules are more attractive and relations with the public more amicable.[14] Contract changes in 2006, however, now forbid the prior practice of allowing police officers who join the fire department to transfer their seniority for compensation purposes. With all new firefighters now compelled to begin working at the same starting pay, the number of NYPD officers "rolling over" to the FDNY is likely to fall considerably.[15]

NYPD graduation ceremony in Madison Square Garden, July 2005.

Some NYPD officers charge that the department's leadership is seeking to stem the flow of officers to other jurisdictions by administrative means.[16] In January 2006, 35 NYPD officers seeking to move to the Port Authority Police sued the New York department, claiming that it was refusing to make their personnel records available to PAPD background investigators. The plaintiffs won an injunction at the trial level, but the Appellate Division in January 2007 overturned that ruling and ordered the case to trial.

For its part, the NYPD claims its actions are merely in line with the personnel practices of other employers and that there is no "stealth" effort to prevent officers from moving elsewhere. Nonetheless, it is a fact that no NYPD officers have been included in the last two PAPD police academy classes as a result.[17]

Despite these obstacles, there are signs that the exodus from the NYPD may be accelerating. In 2007, 990 officers resigned before becoming eligible for retirement, on top of 902 who left in 2006, 867 in 2005 and 635 in 2004, which makes for an attrition rate of around two percent. While Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly insists that figure compares positively with turnover rates in private industry, police union officials note that the proper comparison should be with prior years on the NYPD. In 1991, for example, only 159 officers left early, for an attrition rate of less than one half of one percent.[18][19]

Ranks of the NYPD

Toyota Prius used by NYPD Traffic Enforcement
NYPD Cushman Scooter assigned to the Housing Bureau with a New York City Sheriff's Office vehicle in the background.
NYPD officers on horseback
NYPD Command Post

There are three career "tracks" in the New York City Police Department. The supervisory track consisting of twelve sworn titles (referred to as ranks). Promotion to the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant and captain are made via competitive civil service examinations. Promotion to the ranks of deputy inspector, inspector and chief are made at the discretion of the police commissioner, after successfully passing all three civil service exams. Promotion from the rank Police Officer to detective is determined by the current police labor contract with approval of the Police Commissioner. The entry level appointment to detective is third grade or specialist. The Police Commissioner may grant discretionary grades of first or second grade. These grades roughly correspond to compensation equivalent to supervisors. Specifically, a second grade detective's pay roughly corresponds to a sergeant and a first grade detective's pay roughly corresponds to a lieutenant. Detectives are police officers that have been given titles and have no supervisory authority. A Detective first grade still falls under the command of a Sergeant or above. Similar to detective grades Sergeants and Lieutenants also can receive pay grade increases within their rank.

The other two tracks are the "investigative" track and the "specialist" track.

Title Insignia Uniform Shirt Color
Chief of Department
4 Gold Stars.svg
Bureau Chief
3 Gold Stars.svg
Assistant Chief
2 Gold Stars.svg
Deputy Chief
1 Gold Star.svg
Colonel Gold.png
Deputy Inspector
US-O4 insignia.svg
Captain insignia Gold.png
NYPD Sergeant Stripes.png
Dark Blue
Police Officer
Dark Blue

There are two basic types of detective on the NYPD: "detective-investigators" and "detective-specialists."

Detective-Investigators are the type most people associate with the term "detective" and are the ones most frequently portrayed on television and in the movies. Most police officers gain their detective title by working in the Narcotics Division of the NYPD's Organized Crime Control Bureau and are then moved to the Detective Bureau. Detectives assigned to squads are co-located within each precinct and are responsible for investigating murders, rapes, robberies, burglaries and other crimes within that precinct's boundaries. Other detective-investigators are assigned to specialized units at either the major command or citywide level, investigating terrorist groups, organized crime, narcotics dealing, extortion, bias crimes, political corruption, kidnappings, major frauds or thefts committed against banks or museums, police corruption, contractor fraud and other complex, politically sensitive or high-profile cases. A squad of detective-investigators are also assigned to each of the city's five district attorney's offices. (Arsons are investigated by fire marshals, who are part of the New York City Fire Department.)

Promotion from Police Officer to Detective-Investigator is based on investigative experience. Typically, a Police Officer who is assigned to an investigative assignment for 18 months will be designated "Detective-Investigator" and receive the gold shield and pay increase commensurate with that designation. In the recent past, however, there has been controversy over the budget-conscious department compelling police officers to work past the 18 months without receiving the new title.

Newly appointed detectives start at Detective Third Grade, which has a pay rate roughly between that of Police Officers and Sergeants. As they gain seniority and experience, they can be "promoted" to Detective Second-Grade, which has a pay grade slightly less than sergeants. Detective First-Grade is an elite designation for the department's most senior and experienced investigators and carries a pay grade slightly less than Lieutenants. All these promotions are discretionary on the part of the Commissioner and can be revoked if warranted. And while senior detectives can give directions to junior detectives in their own squads, not even the most senior detective can lawfully issue orders to even a junior patrol officer. All Detective grades still fall under the "chain of command" of the Supervisory ranks beginning with Sergeant through Chief of Department. Detectives like Police Officers are eligible to take the promotional civil service exams for entry into the Supervisory ranks.

While carrying with them increased pay and prestige, none of these Detective grades confer on the holder any supervisory authority. And contrary to what is often portrayed by Hollywood, there is no specific rank of "Detective Sergeant" or "Detective Lieutenant." Lieutenants and Sergeants are assigned to oversee Detective squads as Supervisors, and are responsible for all investigations.

However, that "Hollywood portrayal" is sourced with the small percentage of Lieutenants and Sergeants who excel as Investigative Supervisors (approximately equal to 10% of their respective ranks) and are granted the prestigious pay grade designations of "Sergeant Detective Supervisor" (SDS), or Lieutenant Detective Commander (LDC) therefore assuming full Investigative command responsibility as opposed to operational supervision. Their pay grade rises to an approximate mid-point between their normal rank and the next highest rank's pay grade, and similar to a Detective's "grade", is also a discretionary promotion. This pay grade designation is achieved by assignment to Investigative units, i.e. Detective Bureau, Internal Affairs Bureau, Counter-Terrorism Bureau, Intelligence Bureau, Organized Crime Control Bureau. Lieutenants and Sergeants in non-investigatory assignments can be designated Lieutenant-Special Assignment or Sergeant-Special Assignment, pay equivalent to their investigative counterparts.

"Detective-specialists" are a relatively new designation and one unique to the NYPD. In the 1980s, many detectives resented that some officers were being granted the rank of detective in order to give them increased pay and status, but were not being assigned to investigative duties. Examples included officers assigned as bodyguards and drivers to the mayor, police commissioner and other senior officials.

To remedy this situation, the rank of detective-specialist was created. These officers are typically found in specialized units because they possess a unique or esoteric skill the department needs, e.g., sharpshooter, bomb technician, scuba instructor, helicopter instructor, sketch artist, etc. Like detective-investigators, detective-specialists start at third grade and can be promoted to second- or first-grade status.

The Department is administered and governed by the Police Commissioner, who is appointed by the Mayor. Technically, the commissioner serves a five-year term; as a practical matter, the commissioner serves at the Mayor's pleasure. The commissioner in turn appoints numerous deputy commissioners. The commissioner and his subordinate deputies are civilians under an oath of office and are not uniformed members of the force who are sworn officers of the law. However, a police commissioner who comes up from the uniformed ranks retains that status while serving as police commissioner. This has ramifications for their police pensions and the fact that any police commissioner who is considered sworn does not need a pistol permit to carry a firearm, and does retain the statutory powers of a police officer. Some police commissioners (like Ray Kelly) do carry a personal firearm, but they also have a full-time security detail from the Police Commissioner's (Detective) Squad.

A First Deputy Police Commissioner may have a security detail when he/she acts as commissioner or under other circumstances as approved by the police commissioner.

Commissioner titles:

Title Insignia
Police Commissioner
5 Gold Stars.svg
First Deputy Commissioner
4 Gold Stars.svg
Deputy Commissioner
3 Gold Stars.svg

These individuals are administrators who supersede the Chief of Department, and they usually specialize in areas of great importance to the Department, such as counter-terrorism, operations, training, public information, legal matters, intelligence, and information technology. Despite their role, as civilian administrators of the Department, they are prohibited from taking operational control of a police situation (with the exception of the First Deputy Commissioner).

Within the rank structure, there are also designations, known as "grades", that connote differences in duties, experience, and pay. However, supervisory functions are generally reserved for the rank of sergeant and above.

Badges in the New York City Police Department are referred to as "shields" (the traditional term). Lower-ranked police officers are identified by their shield numbers, and tax registry number. Lieutenants and above do not have shield numbers and are identified by tax registry number. All sworn members of NYPD have their I.D. card photos taken against a red background. Civilian employees of the NYPD have their I.D. card photos taken against a blue background, signifying that they are not commissioned to carry a firearm. All ID cards have an expiration date. Sworn police officers are referred to as "MOS" or, members of the service.

Organization and structure

The Department is divided into ten bureaus, six of which are enforcement bureaus. Each enforcement bureau is sub-divided into sections, divisions, and units, and into patrol boroughs, precincts, and detective squads. Each Bureau is commanded by a Bureau Chief (such as the Chief of Patrol, the Chief of Housing, Chief of Internal Affairs). There are also a number of specialized units (such as the Operations Unit and Compstat) that are not part of any of the Bureaus and report to the Chief of the Department.

Line of duty deaths

Since December 25, 1806, the NYPD has lost 768 officers in the line of duty. This figure includes officers from agencies that were absorbed or became a part of the modern NYPD in addition to the modern department itself. This number also includes officers killed on and off duty by gunfire of other officers on duty. The NYPD lost 23 officers on September 11, 2001, as well as 20 officers as a result of illness contracted from inhaling toxic chemicals while working long hours at Ground Zero and Fresh Kills Landfill.[20]

Type number Type number
9/11 related 23[22] Accidental 10
Aircraft accident 7 Animal related 17
Asphyxiation 2 Assault 31
Automobile accident 50 Bicycle accident 4
Boating accident 5 Bomb 2
Drowned 12 Duty related illness 10
Electrocuted 5 Explosion 8
Exposure 1 Fall 12
Fire 14 Gunfire 321
Gunfire (accidental) 24 Heart attack 44
Motorcycle accident 36 Stabbed 24
Struck by streetcar 7 Struck by train 5
Struck by vehicle 37 Structure collapse 3
Terrorist attack 24 Vehicle pursuit 12
Vehicular assault 20 Total 768

Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB)

Events of police misconduct



As of 2009, the NYPD is 47.5% Caucasian, 28.9% Hispanic, 17.9% African American, and 5.5% Asian compared to a city that is 44% Caucasian, 27% Hispanic, 25% African American, and 11% Asian.[23]


  • The department is affiliated with the New York City Police Foundation and the New York City Police Museum.
  • The department also runs a Youth Police academy to provide positive interaction with police officers and to educate young people about the challenges and responsibility of police work.
  • The department also provides a citizen Police Academy which educates the public on basic law and policing procedures.
  • The department also charters a Law Enforcement Explorer Post, for young men and women interested in law enforcement.

Service pistols

New NYPD officers are allowed to select one of three 9mm service pistols configured in double-action only (DAO): the SIG P226 DAO, Smith & Wesson model 5946, and Glock 19.[24] All are modified to a 12-pound (53 N) trigger pull.

Fictional portrayals

NYPD Gallery

See also


  1. ^ US DOJ Statistics 2000
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Property Clerk." New York City Police Department. Retrieved on November 5, 2009.
  4. ^ From database to crime scene
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Deal Raises Officers’ Pay 4% a Year". New York Times. August 22, 2008. 
  7. ^ NYPD Officers Get 17 Percent Raises over Four Years
  8. ^ Police Officer Contract Breakdown
  9. ^ "2005 Duties, 1985 Pay". New York Daily News. June 29, 2005. 
  10. ^ "They're Tried, They're True, But How Long Do They Stay?". The New York Times. October 8, 1995. 
  11. ^ "Offers Higher Salary: Upstate City Makes Case to NYPD Cops". The Chief-Leader. October 6, 2006. 
  12. ^ "Unlikely Recruits Heed the Call of the Sagebrush". The New York Times. January 7, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Seattle Police Department Scheming to Steal cops from the Shrinking NYPD". The New York Daily News. April 4, 2008. 
  14. ^ "To Protect and Serve On Another Front; In an Increasing Job Migration, Police Officers Make the Switch From Crime Fighter to Firefighter," by Kevin Flynn, The New York Times, May 31, 1999, Section B; Page 1, Column 2; Metropolitan Desk
  15. ^ "Cops Entering FDNY Back At Bottom on Pay; Council Enacts Deal Made Under UFA Wage Accord," by Ginger Adams Otis, The Chief-Leader, April 14, 2006
  16. ^ "P.D. Holds Hostage Its PAPD Applicants," by Reuven Blau, The Chief-Leader, January 26, 2007, Page 1, Column 2;
  17. ^ "Rule NYPD Can Withhold Officer Files From PA; Has Effect of Blocking Transfers to Gain Higher Pay," by Reuven Blau, The Chief-Leader, January 26, 2007, Page 1, Column 4;
  18. ^ "Cop Exits Up 11%; Pay Prime Factor," by Reuven Blau, The Chief-Leader, March 7, 2008.
  19. ^ "Alarm Over Cop Exodu$," by Larry Celona and Bill Sanderson, The New York Post, January 25, 2007, Page 4, Column 1.
  20. ^ "9/11 by the Numbers". New York Magazine. September 11, 2002. 
  21. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page (
  22. ^ New York City police officers who died in the World Trade Center attack [1]
  23. ^ Gearing up for a new FDNY
  24. ^ "Training Bureau". Retrieved 2009-12-02. 

External links

Simple English

New York City Police Department
Common name New York Police Department
Abbreviation NYPD
Motto Fidelis ad Mortem
Faithful till Death
Agency Overview
Formed 1845
Preceding agency Municipal Police
Annual Budget $3.9 Billion
Legal personality Governmental agency
Jurisdictional Structure
Divisional agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
City of New York in the State of New York , United States
Map of New York City Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size 468.9 square miles
Population 8,274,527
Legal jurisdiction New York City
General nature
  • Local civilian police
    See also Police
Operational Structure
Headquarters One Police Plaza
Police Officers 37,838 (2008)
Auxiliary Police Officers

School Safety Agents
4,500 (2008)

5,000 (2008)
Police Commissioner responsible Raymond W. Kelly
Agency executive Joseph Esposito, Chief of Department
Commands 76 Precincts
12 Transit Districts
9 Housing Police Service Areas
Police cars 3000+
Police boats 27
Helicopters 7
Horses 120
Dogs 31 German Shepherds
3 Bloodhounds
Official Site

The New York City Police Department (NYPD), started in 1844, is the largest police force in the United States,[1]. It is the police force that serves the the five boroughs of New York City. The NYPD was one of the first "modern" style police departments in the United States with the Boston Police Department. [2] The NYPD uses a color of the day to allow uniformed officers to recognize undercover officers to prevent accidental shootings.[3]

Street Crimes Unit

The New York Police Department's Street Crime Unit (motto: "We Own The Night") was a 300+ member plain clothes unit for reducing crime that became well known after the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo. The four officers who did the killing were all members of the unit. The unit was ended in 2002 because of the Diallo shooting. The unit's last leader was Inspector Bruce H. Smolka, who was later made Assistant Chief. The Street Crime Unit is now replaced by local precinct Anti-Crime Units. All of the officers were found not guilty of the criminal charges in a long trial that took place in Albany after a successful request to change the location of the trial from the Bronx, where the shooting happened.

The Street Crime Unit was started in 1971 and had a long history of success in catching armed criminals on NYC streets. The establishment of the Street Crime Unit led to the development of the color of the day undercover officer recognition system.


Other websites

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address