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"NYPD" and "New York City Cops" redirect here. For the state police, see New York State Police.
Not to be confused with New York City Sheriff's Office.
City of New York Police Department
Common name New York City Police Department
Abbreviation NYPD
The New York City Police Department patch, depicting the department logo.
The shield of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), with badge number "911".
Flag of the New York City Police Department
Motto Fidelis ad Mortem
(English: "Faithful Unto Death")
Agency overview
Formed 1845[1]
Employees 34,500 (Uniformed)[2]
Annual budget $3.6 billion
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of New York, U.S.
Map of City of New York Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size 468.9 square miles (1,214 km2)
Population 8,175,133
Legal jurisdiction New York City
General nature
  • Law enforcement
  • Local civilian police
Operational structure
Headquarters 1 Police Plaza
Police Commissioner responsible Raymond W. Kelly
Agency executive Phillip Banks III[3], Chief of Department
Parent agency New York City
Commands 77 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
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD or NYCPD), officially the City of New York Police Department, was established in 1845, and is the largest municipal police force in the United States,[4] having primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within the five boroughs of New York City. The NYPD is one of the oldest police departments established in the United States; tracing its roots back to the first Dutch eight man night watch in 1625, when New York City was New Amsterdam.[5]

The NYPD has a broad array of specialized services, including the Emergency Service Unit, K-9, harbor patrol, air support, bomb disposal, counter-terrorism, criminal intelligence, anti-gang, anti-organized crime, narcotics, public transportation and public housing; The New York City Transit Police and New York City Housing Authority Police Department were fully integrated into the NYPD in 1995. According to the department, its mission is to "enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment."

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 December 2011, it had increased to slightly over 36,600 with the graduation of a class of 1,500 from the New York City Police Academy. The NYPD's current authorized uniformed strength is 34,450.[6] 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. The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association of the City of New York (NYC PBA), the largest municipal police union in the United States, represents over 50,000 active and retired NYC police officers.

The NYPD Intelligence Division & Counter-Terrorism Bureau, headed by a former CIA operative,[7] has officers stationed in 11 foreign cities such as London, Paris, Madrid, Tel Aviv,[8] Hamburg, and Toronto.[9] In the 1990s the department developed a CompStat system of management which has also entered use in other cities.

Members of the NYPD are frequently referred to by the nickname New York's Finest. The NYPD is headquartered at 1 Police Plaza, located on Park Row in Lower Manhattan across the street from City Hall.[10]

NYPD has extensive crime scene investigation and laboratory resources, as well as units which assist with computer crime investigations. The NYPD runs an anticrime computer network, essentially a large search engine and data warehouse operated by detectives to assist officers in the field with their investigations.[11] A Domain Awareness System, a joint project of Microsoft and NYPD, links thousands of closed-circuit television cameras, license plate readers, and other surveillance devices into an integrated system.[12]


The New York City Police Department was established in 1845, replacing an old night watch system.

Ranks of the NYPD

This articles discusses ranks of the NYPD proper; whereas the School Safety Division, Traffic Control Division, Auxiliary Police Section and Police Academy have their own rank and grade structures despite being part of the NYPD and commanded by officers of the NYPD proper command structure.

Officers begin service with the rank of Probationary Police Officer, alternatively referred to as P.P.O. or informally within the department, as a Probie. After six months of training at the Police Academy and after successfully completing various Academic, Physical and Tactical tests, officers graduate the Police Academy and are promoted to the rank of Police Officer and receive a corresponding pay grade increase.

There are three career "tracks" in the New York City Police Department. The supervisory track consists of 12 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 of 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 official 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 Badge design Badge Color Badge Numbered
Chief of Department
White shirt,
black peaked cap
Medallion with eagle and stars gold, silver stars no
Bureau Chief
Assistant Chief
Deputy Chief
Medallion with eagle and star
Medallion with eagle gold
Deputy Inspector
Laurels and crown with oak leaves
Laurels and crown
Navy blue shirt,
peaked cap
Shield with eagle yes
Detective (grades 3rd–1st)
(Doesn't outrank the Police Officer)
Police Officer Shield silver
Probationary Police Officer
Recruit Officer Slate grey,
black side cap
Cadet none
Title Insignia Badge Design
Bureau Chief/Supervising Chief Surgeon
Medallion with eagle and stars
Assistant Chief Chaplain/Surgeon
Medallion with eagle and stars
Deputy Chief Chaplain/Surgeon
Medallion with eagle and star
Chaplain/Police Surgeon
Medallion with eagle

There are two basic types of detective in 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 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 is also assigned to each of the city's five district attorney's offices. (Arsons are investigated by The Arson and Explosion Squad as well as 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 investigative work 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 Officer and Sergeant. 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. Contrary to some media portrayals, 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.

There is a small percentage of Lieutenants and Sergeants who work as Investigative Supervisors (approximately equal to 10% of their respective ranks) and are granted the prestigious pay grade designations of "Sergeant—Supervisor Detective Squad" (SDS), or Lieutenant—Commander Detective Squad (CDS) therefore assuming full Investigative command responsibility as opposed to operational supervision. Their pay grade rises to an approximate midpoint 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, and 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., crime-scene techs, 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
First Deputy Commissioner
Deputy Commissioner

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 Commissioner and 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), though not all badge designs are strictly shield-shaped. Every rank has a different badge design (with the exception of Police Officer and Probationary Police Officer), and upon change in rank officers receive a new badge. 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 the 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.

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.


Main article: List of New York City Police Department officers

Line of duty deaths

Since December 25, 1806, the NYPD has lost 781 officers in the line of duty, the most-recent officer being lost on December 12, 2011.[13] This figure includes officers from agencies that were absorbed by or became a part of the modern NYD 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 in the September 11, 2001, attacks.[14]

Type number
9/11 related illness[16] 31
Accidental 10
Aircraft accident 7
Animal related 17
Asphyxiation 2
Assault 31
Automobile accident 51
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 323
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 23
Vehicle pursuit 12
Vehicular assault 20
Total 863

Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB)



As of the end of 2010, 53% of the entire 34,526-member police force were white and 47% were minorities. Of 22,199 officers on patrol, 53% (11,717) were black, Latino (any race), or Asian, and 47% (10,482) were non-Hispanic white. Of 5,177 detectives, 57% (2,953) were white and 43% (2,224) were minorities. Of 4,639 sergeants, 61% (2,841) were white and 39% (1,798) were minorities. Of 1,742 lieutenants, 76% (1,323) were white and 24% (419) were minorities. Of 432 captains, 82% (356) were white and 18% (76) were minorities. Of 10 chiefs, 7 were white and 3 were minorities. In 2002, whites accounted for 60% of members in the rank of police officer. Between 2002 and 2010, the number of minorities in top-tier positions in the force increased by about 4.5%.[17]


  • 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.


Vehicle Origin and Manufacture Type Notes Picture
Ford Crown Victoria  United States (Origin)
 Canada (Manufacture)
Ford Police Interceptor Sedan[18]  United States (Origin)
 United States (Manufacture)[19]
Chevrolet Impala  United States (Origin)
 Canada (Manufacture)
Cadillac Escalade  United States SUV - The Commissioner's and Mayor's Issued Vehicle
Ford Fusion Hybrid  United States (Origin)
 Mexico (Manufacture)
Nissan Altima  Japan (Origin)
 United States (Manufacture)
Dodge Charger  United States (Origin)
 Canada (Manufacture)
Highway patrol cruiser
Toyota Prius  Japan Traffic enforcement cruiser
Chevrolet Volt  United States Traffic enforcement cruiser
Ford Explorer Special Service Vehicle  United States Patrol and Traffic Enforcement SUV
Ford Escape Hybrid  United States Patrol and Traffic Enforcement SUV
Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon  United States SUV
Ford E-Series  United States
Westward Go-4 Interceptor  Canada Parking Enforcement Scooter
Cushman Scooter  United States Parking Enforcement Scooter
John Deere Gator  United States
Lenco Peacekeeper  United States Armored vehicle 2 in use by the ESU
Lenco BearCat  United States Armored vehicle 5 in use by the ESU
ESU Radio Emergency Patrol  United States Emergency Service Vehicle Adapted Ford F-550
ESU Heavy Rescue Truck  United States Emergency Service Vehicle
Communications van Communications van
Communications Division Command Post Communications van
international frame amtran body  United States Police bus
TMC RTS  United States Police bus
Orion V Suburban  Canada(Origin)
 United States (Manufacture)
Police bus
Modified Blue Bird All American  United States Mobile command post
Modified Hummer H1  United States Disorder Control Unit vehicle
AgustaWestland AW119  United Kingdom &  Italy (Origin) Helicopter
Bell Helicopter Bell 412EP  United States Helicopter


On Duty

New NYPD officers are allowed to select one of three 9mm service pistols: the SIG Sauer P226 DAO, Smith & Wesson Model 5946 DAO, and Glock 19.[20] All are modified to a 12-pound (53 N) NY-2 trigger pull.[21] Officers who were issued revolvers prior to the transition to semi-automatic pistols on January 1, 1994, are "grandfathered" and if so can choose to continue to carry a revolver as a duty weapon.

Off Duty

The firearms approved by the NYPD for off duty carry are the Glock 26, Smith & Wesson 3914 DAO, Smith & Wesson 3953TSW, Smith & Wesson Model 640 (.38 revolver), and the SIG Sauer P239 DAO. Along with those weapons, NYPD officers may also carry their department issued firearms while off duty.[22]


From 1926 until 1986 the standard weapons of the department were the Smith & Wesson Model 10 and the Colt Official Police .38 Special Revolvers with four-inch barrels. Prior to 1994 the standard weapon of the NYPD was the Smith & Wesson Model 64 DAO (Double Action Only) .38 Special Revolver with three or four inch barrels. This type of revolver was called the Model NY-1 by the department.

Prior to the issuing of the 9mm semi-automatic pistol NYPD Detectives and plain clothes officers often carried the Colt Detective Special and/or the Smith & Wesson Model 36 "Chief's Special" .38 Special caliber snub-nosed (2-inch) barrel revolvers for their easiness to conceal while dressed in civilian clothes.


Salary and retention issues

After years of bitter wrangling that saw starting pay for new officers fall to $25,100 a year, the city and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association reached agreement on August 21, 2008 on a new four-year contract.[23]

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 non-guaranteed additions, the total annual compensation for officers receiving top pay will be approximately $90,829. This is the first contract since 1994 that the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the City of New York mutually agreed on without involving a mediator.[24][25]

Many think that the new terms still leave a substantial pay gap between the NYPD and nearby departments.[26] Over the years, thousands 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, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police and the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey.[27] Discontent over pay issues has become so widespread and so well known that higher-paying departments in lower cost-of-living cities, such as the Rochester, New York Police,[28] the Albuquerque, New Mexico Police,[29] and the Seattle Police Department,[30] are actively recruiting NYPD officers to join their forces.

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.[31] 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.[32]

Some NYPD officers charge that the department's leadership is seeking to stem the flow of officers to other jurisdictions by administrative means.[33] 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. 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, no NYPD officers have been included in the last two PAPD police academy.[34]

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, versus 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

In popular culture

See also


External links

  • NYPD Police Salary
  • NYPD official website
  • "With The Sky Police", January 1932, Popular Mechanics 1931 article about the NY City Police Air Force and the Keystone-Loening Commuter in service at that time, photos p.26, 29-30

Coordinates: 40°42′43″N 74°00′07″W / 40.712°N 74.002°W / 40.712; -74.002

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