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New York City Police Department facts for kids

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City of New York Police Department
NYPD shield (officer)
NYPD shield (officer)
Common name New York City Police Department
Abbreviation NYPD
  • Fidelis ad Mortem (Latin)
  • "Faithful unto Death"
Agency overview
Formed May 23, 1845; 179 years ago (1845-05-23)
Employees 50,676
Annual budget US$5.4 b (2022)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction New York City, New York, United States
Map of New York Highlighting New York City.svg
Size 468.484 sq mi (1,213.37 km2)
Population 8,468,190 (2021)
Legal jurisdiction As per operations jurisdiction
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters One Police Plaza, Lower Manhattan
Sworn Officers Approximately 36,000 Sworn Officers
Civilian Employees Approximately 19,000 Civilian Employees
Police Commissioner responsible
  • Edward Caban
Agency executives
  • Tania Kinsella, First Deputy Commissioner
  • Jeffrey Maddrey, Chief of Department
  • 77 precincts
  • 12 transit districts
  • 9 housing police service areas
Police vehicles 9,624
Police boats 29
Helicopters 8
Horses 45
K-9 units 34
NYPD Police officer (48529090452)
NYPD Police officer in uniform

The New York City Police Department (NYPD), officially the City of New York Police Department, is the primary law enforcement agency within New York City. Established on May 23, 1845, the NYPD is the largest, and one of the oldest, municipal police departments in the United States.

The NYPD is headquartered at 1 Police Plaza, located on Park Row in Lower Manhattan near City Hall. The NYPD's regulations are compiled in title 38 of the New York City Rules. The NYC Transit Police and NYC Housing Authority Police Department were fully integrated into the NYPD in 1995. Dedicated units of the NYPD include the Emergency Service Unit, K-9, harbor patrol, highway patrol, air support, bomb squad, counterterrorism, criminal intelligence, anti-organized crime, narcotics, mounted patrol, public transportation, and public housing units.

The NYPD employs over 40,000 people, including more than 30,000 uniformed officers as of September 2023. According to the official CompStat database, the NYPD responded to nearly 500,000 reports of crime and made over 200,000 arrests during 2019. In 2020, it had a budget of US$6 billion. However, the NYPD's actual spending often exceeds its budget.

The NYPD has a history of police brutality, corruption, and misconduct, which critics argue persists into the present day.

Due to its high-profile location in New York City, the largest city and media center in the U.S., fictionalized versions of the NYPD and its officers have frequently been portrayed in novels, radio, television, motion pictures, and video games.


The Municipal Police were established in 1845, replacing an old night watch system. Mayor William Havemeyer shepherded the NYPD together. In 1857, the force was replaced by the Metropolitan Police.

The NYPD appointed its first Black officer in 1911 and the first female officers in 1918.

Rescue worker reaching into a New York Police car covered with debris (28802606564)
NYPD Sergeant searching through a cruiser covered in debris during 9/11

During Richard Enright's tenure as commissioner, the country's first Shomrim Society, a fraternal organization of Jewish police officers, was founded in the NYPD in 1924. At the time, NYPD had 700 Jewish officers on the force.

In 1961, highly decorated NYPD officer Mario Biaggi, later a US Congressman, became the first police officer in New York State to be made a member of the National Police Officers Hall of Fame.

In 1992, Mayor David Dinkins created an independent Civilian Complaint Review Board for the NYPD. In response to this, some NYPD officers violently protested and rioted. They blocked traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge, demonstrated at City Hall and shouted racial epithets. The protests were sponsored by the NYPD union.

In 1994 the NYPD developed the CompStat computer system for tracking crime geographically, which is now in use by other police departments in the United States and Canada. Research is mixed on whether CompStat had an impact on crime rates.

The New York City Transit Police and the New York City Housing Authority Police Department were merged into the NYPD in 1995.

Organization and structure

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, they serve at the mayor's pleasure. The commissioner in turn appoints the first deputy commissioner, numerous deputy commissioners and the Chief of Department (The most senior uniformed officer). By default, the commissioner and their subordinate deputies are civilians under an oath of office and are not sworn officers. However, a commissioner who comes up from the sworn ranks retains the status and statutory powers of a police officer while serving as commissioner. This affects their police pensions, and their ability to carry a firearm without a pistol permit. Some police commissioners carry a personal firearm, but they also have a full-time security detail.

Commissioners and deputy commissioners are administrators who specialize in areas of great importance to the Department, such as counterterrorism, support services, public information, legal matters, intelligence, and information technology. However, as civilian administrators, deputy commissioners are prohibited from taking operational control of a police situation (the commissioner and the first deputy commissioner may take control of these situations, however). 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.

Office of the Chief of Department

The Chief of Department serves as the senior sworn member of the NYPD. Jeffrey Maddrey, a longtime NYPD veteran, is the 43rd individual to hold the post. which prior to 1987 was known as the chief of operations and before that as chief inspector.


The department is divided into 20 bureaus, which are typically commanded by a uniformed bureau chief (such as the chief of patrol and the chief of housing) or a civilian deputy commissioner (such as the Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology). The bureaus fit under four umbrellas: Patrol, Transit & Housing, Investigative, and Administrative. Bureaus are often subdivided into smaller divisions and units. All deputy commissioners report directly to the Commissioner and bureau chiefs report to the Commissioner through the Chief of Department.

Bureau Commanding officer Description Subdivisions
Patrol Services Bureau Chief of Patrol The Patrol Services Bureau oversees the majority of the NYPD's uniformed patrol officers. This is the largest bureau. It is under the command of the Chief of Patrol. There are currently eight borough commands (Manhattan North, Manhattan South, Brooklyn North, Brooklyn South, Queens North, Queens South, Staten Island, and The Bronx), with each command headed by an assistant chief. These are further divided into 77 police precincts, which are commanded by a captain, deputy inspector or inspector; depending on size.
Special Operations Bureau Chief of Special Operations The Special Operations Bureau Manages NYPD responses to major events and incidents that require specifically trained and equipped personnel. It is under the command of the Chief of Special Operations. The Special Operations Bureau is responsible for the Emergency Service Unit,Aviation Unit, Harbor Unit, Mounted Unit, Strategic Response Group, Crisis Outreach and Support Unit.
Transit Bureau Chief of Transit The Transit Bureau Oversees NYPD transit officers in the New York City Subway. It is under the command of the Chief of Transit. This Bureau is responsible for 12 transit districts, each located within or adjacent to the subway system, and overseen by three borough commands: Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Bronx/Queens

Specialized units within the Transit Bureau include Borough Task Forces, Anti-Terrorism Unit, Citywide Vandals Task Force, Canine Unit, Special Projects Unit, and MetroCard Fraud Task Force.

Housing Bureau Chief of Housing The Housing Bureau Oversees law enforcement within New York City public housing. It is under the command of the Chief of Housing There are nine police service areas, each covering a collection of housing developments.
Transportation Bureau Chief of Transportation The Transportation Bureau Manages highway patrol and traffic management in New York City. It is under the command of the Chief of Transportation. Traffic Management Center, Highway District, Traffic Operations District, Traffic Enforcement District
Counterterrorism Bureau Chief of Counterterrorism The Counterterrorism Bureau counters, investigates, analyzes, and prevents terrorism in New York City. It is under the command of the Chief of Counterterrorism. Critical Response Command, Counterterrorism Division, Terrorism Threat Analysis Group, Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, World Trade Center Command
Crime Control Strategies Bureau Chief of Crime Control Strategies The Crime Control Strategies Bureau oversees the analysis and monitoring of trends across New York City, develops strategies targeted to reducing crime, and applies strategies to the NYPD. It is under the command of the Chief of Crime Control Strategies CompStat Unit, Crime Analysis Unit
Detective Bureau Chief of Detectives The Detectives Bureau oversees NYPD detectives. The Detectives are in charge of preventing, detecting, and investigating crime in New York City. It is under the command of the Chief of Detectives. Borough Investigative Commands, Special Victims Division, Forensic Investigations Division, Special Investigations Division, Criminal Enterprise Division, Fugitive Enforcement Division, Real Time Crime Center, District Attorneys Squad, Grand Larceny Division, Gun Violence Suppression Division, Vice Enforcement Division
Intelligence Bureau Chief of Intelligence The Intelligence Bureau oversees the collection and analysis of data to detect and disrupt criminal and terrorist activity in New York City. It is under the command of the Chief of Intelligence. Intelligence Operations and Analysis Section, Criminal Intelligence Section
Internal Affairs Bureau Chief of Internal Affairs The Internal Affairs Bureau investigates police misconduct within the NYPD. It is under the command of the Chief of Internal Affairs. N/A
Employee Relations Deputy Commissioner of Employee Relations Employee Relations oversees the fraternal, religious, and line organizations of the NYPD, as well as ceremonial customs. It is under the command of the Deputy Commissioner of Employee Relations. Employee Relations Section, Chaplains Unit, Ceremonial Unit, Sports Unit
Collaborative Policing Deputy Commissioner of Collaborative Policing Collaborative Policing works with non-profits, community-based organizations, faith-based communities, other law enforcement agencies and other New York City stakeholders on public safety initiatives. It is under the command of the Deputy Commissioner of Collaborative Policing N/A
Community Affairs Bureau Chief of Community Affairs The Community Affairs Bureau works with community leaders, civic organizations, block associations, and the public to educate on police policies and practices; it is also responsible for NYPD officers in schools and investigates juvenile delinquency. It is under the command of the Chief of Community Affairs. Community Outreach Division, Crime Prevention Division, Juvenile Justice Division, School Safety Division
Information Technology Bureau Chief of Information Technology The Information Technology Bureau oversees the maintenance, research, development and implementation of technology to support strategies, programs and procedures within the NYPD. It is under the command of the Chief of Information Technology. Administration, Fiscal Affairs, Strategic Technology, IT Services Division, Life-Safety Systems, Communications Division
Legal Matters Bureau Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters The Legal Matters Bureau assists NYPD personnel regarding department legal matters; controversially, it has a memorandum of understanding with the Manhattan District Attorney to selectively prosecute New York City Criminal Court summons and court cases. It is under the command of the Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters Civil Enforcement Unit, Criminal Section, Civil Section, Legislative Affairs Unit, Document Production/FOIL, Police Action Litigation Section
Personnel Bureau Chief of Personnel The Personnel Bureau oversees recruitment and selection of personnel, as well as managing the human resource functions of the NYPD. It is under the command of the Chief of Personnel. Candidate Assessment Division, Career Enhancement Division, Employee Management Division, Personnel Orders Section, Staff Services Section
Public Information Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Public Information works with media organizations to provide information to the public. It is under the command of the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information. N/A
Risk Management Assistant Chief of Risk Management Risk Management oversees the performance of police officers and identifies officers who may require enhanced training or supervision. It is under the command of the Assistant Chief of Risk Management. N/A
Support Services Bureau Deputy Commissioner of Support Services Support Services Bureau manages equipment, maintenance, and storage, primarily evidence storage and fleet maintenance. It is under the command of the Deputy Commissioner of Support Services. Fleet Services Division, Property Clerk Division, Central Records Division, Printing Section
Training Bureau Chief of Training The Training Bureau oversees the training of recruits, officers, staff, and civilians. It is under the command of the Chief of Training. Recruit Training Section, Physical Training and Tactics Department, Tactical Training Unit, Firearms and Tactics Section, COBRA Training, In-Service Tactical Training Unit, Driver Education and Training Unit, Computer Training Unit, Civilian Training Program, School Safety Training Unit, Instructor Development Unit, Criminal Investigation Course, Leadership Development Section, Citizens Police Academy

Rank structure

Officers graduate from the Police Academy after five and a half to six months (or sometimes more) of training in various academic, physical, and tactical fields. For the first 18 months of their careers, they are designated as "Probationary Police Officers", or more informally, "rookies".

There are three career "tracks" in the NYPD: supervisory, investigative, and specialist. The supervisory track consists of nine ranks; promotion to the ranks of sergeant, lieutenant, and captain are made via competitive civil service examinations. After reaching the rank of captain, promotion to the ranks of deputy inspector, inspector, deputy chief, assistant chief, (bureau) chief and chief of department is at the discretion of the police commissioner. Promotion from the rank of police officer to detective is discretionary by the police commissioner or required by law when the officer has performed eighteen months or more of investigative duty.


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. Some officers have used "Pottsy" badges, "dupes", or duplicate badges, as officers are punished for losing their shield by also losing up to ten days' pay.

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 ID card photos taken against a red background. Civilian employees of the NYPD have their ID card photos taken against a blue background, signifying that they are not commissioned to carry a firearm. All ID cards have an expiration date. Although the First Deputy Commissioner and Chief of Department share the same insignia (four stars), the First Deputy Commissioner outranks the Chief of Department. The Deputy Commissioners and Bureau Chiefs/Bureau Chief Chaplains and Chief Surgeon have three stars.

Rank Insignia Badge design Badge color Badge number Uniform
Police Commissioner
5 Gold Stars.svg
NYPD Commissioner.png
With requisite number of stars and rank
Gold, with silver star(s) No White shirt,
dark blue peaked cap,
gold hat badge
First Deputy Commissioner
4 Gold Stars.svg
Chief of Department
4 Gold Stars.svg
Deputy Commissioner (have no operational command, however have a rank equivalent to a bureau chief)
3 Gold Stars.svg
Bureau Chief &
Bureau Chief Chaplain †
3 Gold Stars.svg
Assistant Chief &
Assistant Chief Chaplain †
2 Gold Stars.svg
Deputy Chief &
Deputy Chief Chaplain †
1 Gold Star.svg
NYPD Deputy Chief Badge.png
Chaplain and Surgeon badges differ
Inspector &
Chaplain †
Colonel Gold-vector.svg
NYPD Inspector Badge.png
Chaplain and Surgeon badges differ
Deputy Inspector
US-O4 insignia.svg
NYPD Deputy Inspector Badge.png
Captain insignia gold.svg
NPYD Captain Badge.png
(shoulder & collar)
NYPD Lieutenant Badge.jpeg
NYPD Sergeant Stripes.svg
NYPD Sergeant Badge.jpg Yes Navy blue shirt,
peaked cap,
gold hat badge
Detectives None Badge of a New York City Police Department detective.png
Police Officer NYPD badge.png Silver Yes,
matching hat badge
Navy blue shirt,
peaked cap,
silver hat badge with matching number
Probationary Police Officer
Recruit Officer Yes Slate grey,
black garrison cap
Cadet None

^ †: Rank that has no police powers

Department composition

As of October 2023, the NYPD's current authorized uniformed strength is 33,536. There are also 19,454 civilian employees, including approximately 4,500 auxiliary police officers, 5,500 school safety agents, and 3,500 traffic enforcement agents currently employed by the department. The Police 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.

Of the entire 33,536-member police force in 2023: 47% are white and 53% are members of minority groups.

Of 21,603 officers on patrol:

  • 43% are non-Hispanic white
  • 57% are black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American.

Of 5,164 detectives:

  • 52% are non-Hispanic white
  • 48% are black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American.

Of 4,376 sergeants:

  • 52% are non-Hispanic white
  • 48% are black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American.

Of 1,635 lieutenants:

  • 59% are non-Hispanic white
  • 41% are black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American.

Of 360 captains:

  • 62% are non-Hispanic white
  • 38% are black, Latino (of any race), or Asian or Asian-American.

Of 101 police chiefs:

  • 57% are non-Hispanic white and
  • 43% are non-white.

Women in the NYPD

On January 1, 2022, Keechant Sewell became the first woman to serve as Commissioner of the NYPD. Juanita N. Holmes, appointed Chief of the Patrol Bureau in 2020, was the first black woman to hold this command and at the time of her appointment, was the highest-ranked uniformed woman in the NYPD. On June 12, 2023, Sewell announced that she was stepping down as commissioner. No reason was given for her departure.

Place of residence

As a rule, NYPD officers can reside in New York City as well as Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Suffolk and Nassau counties and approximately half of them live outside the city (51% in 2020, up from 42% in 2016). Legislation has been introduced to require newly hired officers to reside in New York City.

Fallen officers

The NYPD has lost 932 officers in the line of duty since 1849. This figure includes officers from agencies that were later absorbed by or became a part of the modern NYPD, in addition to the NYPD itself. This number also includes 28 officers killed on and off duty by gunfire of other officers on duty. 286 officers have been shot and killed by a criminal. The NYPD lost 23 officers in the September 11, 2001 attacks, not including another 247 who later died of 9/11-related illnesses. The NYPD has more line-of-duty deaths than any other American law enforcement agency.


The NYPD has a broad array of specialized services, including the Emergency Service Unit, K9, harbor patrol, air support, bomb squad, counter-terrorism, criminal intelligence, anti-gang, anti-organized crime, narcotics, public transportation, and public housing units. The NYPD Intelligence Division & Counter-Terrorism Bureau has officers stationed in eleven cities internationally.

In 2019 the NYPD responded to 482,337 reports of crime, and made 214,617 arrests. There were 95,606 major felonies reported in 2019, compared to over half a million per year in the 1980s and 1990s.


In the 1990s the department developed a CompStat system of management which has also since been established in other cities. The NYPD has extensive crime scene investigation and laboratory resources, as well as units that assist with computer crime investigations. In 2005, the NYPD established a "Real Time Crime Center" to assist in investigations; this is essentially a searchable database the pulls information from departmental records, including traffic tickets, court summonses, and previous complaints to reports, as well as arrest reports. The database contains files to identify individuals based on tattoos, body marks, teeth, and skin conditions, based on police records.

NYPD also maintains the Domain Awareness System, a network that provides information and analytics to police, drawn from a variety of sources, including a network of 9,000 publicly and privately owned surveillance cameras, license plate readers, ShotSpotter data, NYPD databases and radiation and chemical sensors. The Domain Awareness System of surveillance was developed as part of Lower Manhattan Security Initiative in a partnership between the NYPD and Microsoft. It allows the NYPD to track surveillance targets and gain detailed information about them. It also has access to data from at least 2 billion license plate readings, 100 million summonses, 54 million 911 calls, 15 million complaints, 12 million detective reports, 11 million arrests and 2 million warrants. The data from the 9,000 CCTV cameras is kept for 30 days. Text records are searchable. The system is connected to 9,000 video cameras around New York City.

In 2020, the NYPD deployed a robotic dog, known as Digidog, manufactured by Boston Dynamics. The robotic dog has cameras which send back real-time footage along with lights and two-way communication, and it is able to navigate on its own using artificial intelligence. Reaction by locals to Digidog was mixed. Deployment of Digidog led to condemnation from the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project and the American Civil Liberties Union due to privacy concerns. In response to its deployment, a city councilmember has proposed a law banning armed robots; this would not apply to Digidog as Digidog is not armed and Boston Dynamics prohibits arming of its robots. On April 24, 2021, U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres proposed new federal legislation requiring police departments receiving federal funds to report use of surveillance technology to the Department of Homeland Security and Congress. The NYPD states that the robot is meant for hostage, terrorism, bomb threat, and hazardous material situations, and that it was properly disclosed to the public under current law. Following continued push back against Digidog, including opposition to the system's $94,000 price tag, the NYPD announced on April 28, 2021 that its lease would be terminated. In April 2023, Mayor Eric Adams announced the revival of the Digidog program in a reversal of his predecessor Bill de Blasio, saying "Digidog is out of the pound." Two robots were purchased at that time for a total of $750,000 using funds from asset forfeiture.

NYPD Highway District Dodge Charger (Newer) 5948-16 @2 (cropped)
NYPD Dodge Charger
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT NYPD RMP 3000 (FSD), front NYIAS 2022
A Ford Mustang Mach-E with the New York City Police Department.


On duty

New NYPD officers are allowed to choose from one of two 9mm service pistols: the Glock 17 Gen4 and Glock 19 Gen4. All duty handguns were previously modified to a 12-pound (53 N) NY-2 trigger pull, though new recruits were being issued handguns with a lighter trigger pull as of 2021.

The Smith & Wesson 5946 semi-automatic 9mm with a double action only (DAO) trigger, was issued to new recruits in the past; however, the pistol has been discontinued. While it is no longer an option for new hires, officers who were issued the weapon may continue to use it.

Shotgun-certified officers were authorized to carry Ithaca 37 shotguns, which are being phased out in favor of the newer Mossberg 590. Officers and detectives belonging to the NYPD's Emergency Service Unit, Counter-terrorism Bureau and Strategic Response Group are armed with a range of select-fire weapons and long guns, such as the Colt M4A1 carbine and similar-pattern Colt AR-15 rifles, Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun, and the Remington Model 700 bolt-action rifle.

Discontinued from service

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. Female officers had the option to choose to carry a three-inch barrel revolver instead of the normal four-inch model due to its lighter weight. Prior to 1994, the standard weapon of the NYPD was the Smith & Wesson Model 64 DAO a .38 Special revolver with a three- or four-inch barrel and the Ruger Police Service Six with a four-inch barrel. This type of revolver was called the Model NY-1 by the department. After the switch in 1994 to semi-automatic pistols, officers who privately purchased revolvers before January 1, 1994, were allowed to use them for duty use until August 31, 2018. They were grandfathered in as approved off-duty guns.

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

The Kahr K9 9mm pistol was an approved off-duty/backup weapon from 1998 to 2011. It was pulled from service because it could not be modified to a 12-pound trigger pull.


The NYPD is affiliated with the New York City Police Foundation and the New York City Police Museum. It also runs a Youth Police academy to provide a positive interaction with police officers and to educate young people about the challenges and responsibility of police work. The NYPD additionally sponsors a Law Enforcement Explorer Program through the Scouting Program (formerly the Boy Scouts of America). The department also operates the Citizens Police Academy, which educates the public on basic law and policing procedures.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Departamento de Policía de Nueva York para niños

  • Detectives' Endowment Association
  • Law enforcement in New York City
  • New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings
  • Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York
  • Police surveillance in New York City
  • Sergeants Benevolent Association
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