The New York City Police Department (NYCPD) protects over eight million people daily.
They perform various tasks, from law enforcement to public safety, traffic management, counter-terror, and emergency response.
In the past 25 years, the NYCPD has done a fantastic job in reducing the city’s violent and property crime rates and improving the quality of life of all residents.
With a city this big, you might wonder how many NYC police officers are there.
Let’s take a closer look at the NYCPD structure and how they manage to keep one of the largest cities in the country with the lowest overall crime rates.
- N.Y. Police Department History
- NYCPD Staffing
- How Many NYC Police Officers Are There?
- How Many Precincts Are There in New York?
- The New York City Police Department’s Staff
N.Y. Police Department History
The NYPD is one of the oldest and biggest police departments in the United States.
The headquarters is at 1 Police Plaza in Lower Manhattan. It was created in the NYC government’s attempt to control the rising crime rate in the city in the early to the mid-19th century.
The prevalence of crimes was due to an increase in the city’s population as poor immigrants from Ireland started to settle in New York in the early 1820s.
Before the creation of the NYPD, a team consisting of 100 city marshals, 51 municipal police officers, 31 constables, and one night watch served a population of over 300,000.
Throughout the 1970s, New York went through a period of economic stagnation, which led to social unrest.
A drug epidemic in the 1980s and early 1990s resulted in an enormous spike in homicide rates throughout the city.
The NYPD had a history of police brutality and corruption during this time, so in 1844, the NYC government authorized the creation of a police force and abolished the night watch system.
Then, in 1985, the city council finally repealed its watch system and officially created the New York Police Department.
In the mid-1990s, the NYC government implemented a zero-tolerance policy on crime.
Two years after, the New York Mayor created an independent Civilian Complaint Review Board to keep an eye on the cycle of police corruption.
Then in 2015, the NYPD created the Strategic Response Group that performed intervention duties against terrorism and emergencies.
New York is currently second to Washington among the country’s 25 most populated cities, with an average ratio of 53 police officers per 10,000 residents.
The crime rates in New York have decreased since the 1990s, while the number of police officers has increased.
Experts say that the significant reductions in crime rates were due to the rising police staffing levels and more effective deployment of police resources.
Data-wise, since 2019, the department has responded to nearly 500,000 reports of crime and has made over 200,000 arrests.
The Police Commission and a mayor-appointed civilian administrator head the NYPD.
The Police Commissioner appoints the First Deputy Commissioner, the second-in-command officer, and the assistant commissioners.
Each enforcement bureau is further divided into divisions, units, sections, detective squads, and precincts.
How Many NYC Police Officers Are There?
The NYCPD consists of about 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilian employees.
The department is divided into major bureaus for investigations, administration, and enforcement.
It has 77 patrol precincts consisting of patrol officers and detectives.
The NYCPD also has 12 transit districts to ensure the safety of the nearly six million commuters in the subway.
Aside from these, the NYCPD has uniformed civilians who serve as traffic safety agents on the busy streets and highways of the city and as school agents protecting public schools.
NYC Police Officers
The New York City Police Department employs 21,959 police officers, 15% of which are female police officers.
Of the entire uniformed personnel, 47% are white, and 53% are members of minority groups.
NYC cops are responsible for maintaining order in the city and enforcing local laws by preventing and investigating crimes.
The NYC police bureau is the largest municipal police force in the U.S.
It houses numerous specialty divisions, including housing, intelligence, canine unit, anti-terrorism unit, transit, and transportation bureaus.
Police officers in NYC may specialize in highway patrol, aviation, emergency response, and crime scene investigation.
NYC police officers have a starting salary of $42,819, which is raised to $45,673 after six months.
With the typical step increases, an officer’s base salary will be about $78,026 after five years of service.
Moreover, they are entitled to overtime pay, holiday pay, paid vacation, paid sick leave, life and health insurance programs, and retirement plan options.
The New York City Police Department has over 2,697 detectives.
The detective bureau is responsible for detecting, investigating, and preventing crime.
NYPD detectives and plainclothes officers work hand in hand with police officers assigned to specific precincts.
Their work is highly specialized and usually involves examining and evaluating evidence to apprehend suspects and build a solid case against them.
The specific duties of NYC detectives vary based on their assigned unit.
For example, a narcotic detective’s daily routine is different from that of a homicide detective.
Nevertheless, they all perform investigative work, such as conducting surveillance, collecting evidence, interviewing suspects and witnesses, making arrests, testifying, and completing various reports.
An NYC detective has a top base salary of $87,278, and the rank progresses from third to first grade.
The New York City Police Department employs 2,103 sergeants.
A sergeant supervises and provides duty instructions for police activities at an operational level.
Their responsibilities include investigating police misconduct, implementing orders, maintaining discipline, and ensuring the punctuality of officers.
Overall, sergeants provide technical supervision and support to police officers to ensure that the department policy of the NYCPD is upheld.
Moreover, the rank involves administrative duties, such as evaluating officers, investigating police misconduct, creating reports, and safeguarding evidence.
The average yearly pay of an NYC sergeant is approximately $106,312, double the national average.
The police department has a total of 874 lieutenants who supervise the day-to-day work of a squad, unit, or bureau.
A lieutenant evaluates the work of police officers and reviews the concerns of his assigned staff.
They also conduct roll calls, assign personnel, and maintain department property, including police vehicles.
In addition, lieutenants often work as coordinators at scenes and secure evidence. They are also responsible for directing arrests and holding prisoners.
A lieutenant’s salary in NYC ranges from $105,733 to $128,575, depending on the person’s educational attainment, certification, additional skills, and the years they have spent in their profession.
The New York City Police Department has 188 captains who work as commanders and administrators of a bureau, squad, unit, or precinct.
The captain has a supervisory role, ensuring officers perform their duties properly. They perform investigations on their fellow police officers.
They also conduct reports, paperwork, and other administrative jobs. Besides these, they may perform special duties and assignments from the police commissioner.
The average salary of police captains in NYC falls between $83,098 and $105,264.
NYPD Deputy Inspectors
NYC has 105 deputy inspectors who work closely with the Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General and is under the Department of Investigation.
They serve as the Commanding Officers responsible for developing and implementing community policing strategies, crime prevention initiatives, and crime analyses.
Deputy Inspectors, through the Office of Management and Budget, are also responsible for managing the district’s operating budgets and annual budgets.
They ensure that New York City Police Department achieves a reasonable budget growth.
The Detective Bureau makes sure that each command promptly performs solid, high-quality investigations.
Some of the commands, divisions, and specialized units include:
- Borough Investigative Chiefs
- Criminal Enterprise Division
- City Investigation Unit
- Forensic Investigations Division
- Special Investigations Division
- Fugitive Enforcement Division
- Real-Time Crime Center
- Central Robbery Division
The average salary of Deputy Inspectors in New York is $180,000 per year.
NYPD Civilian Officers
As of 2020, the New York City Police Department has 19,454 civilian employees, which consist of:
- 3,500 traffic enforcement agents
- 5,500 school safety agents and plainclothes officers
- 4,500 auxiliary police officers
NYPD civilian employees play a crucial role in supporting the uniformed personnel in reducing crime and keeping residents and visitors safe.
They perform exciting and diverse jobs, such as processing and monitoring inmates, translating vast amounts of data into actionable information, planning events, and conducting crime prevention background and education.
The team includes dispatchers, forensic technicians, intelligence analysts, I.T. specialists, planners, public information officers, and property managers.
It also runs a Youth Police Academy to promote positive interaction with police officers and educate the young on the challenges and roles of fellow officers.
New York City Police Department Bureaus
The New York City Police Department is structured around major offices that handle the department’s investigative, administrative, and enforcement functions.
There are 23 bureaus in the NYCPD, but some of the most visible are:
The NYPD’s largest and most visible bureau oversees most officers on patrol. It consists of eight borough commands, further divided into 77 precincts.
- Special Operations Bureau
This team is comprised of highly trained personnel who support other NYPD units in operations on the ground, in the air, below subways, and on NYC waterways.
- Transit Bureau
This bureau ensures the safety and security of over five million passengers who use the NYC subway daily. They patrol the subway’s 25 lines and 472 stations.
In addition, the Transit bureau comprises 12 transit districts, each located within or adjacent to the subway system.
This bureau is responsible for the safety of the residents, employees, and visitors in New York’s housing developments.
This bureau oversees the management of traffic and the safety of passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists on NYC streets and highways.
It has four districts, including the Traffic Enforcement District, manned by over 3,000 civilian uniformed traffic enforcement agents.
This bureau works against the threat of international and domestic terrorism.
They develop innovative policies to guard against attacks and other acts of terrorism.
This bureau is responsible for recruiting and selecting personnel for the New York City Police Department.
In addition, they manage over 55,000 members and employees of the department, assessing, training, and monitoring them.
This bureau detects and disrupts criminal activity through intelligence-led policing.
It’s composed of uniformed officers and civilian members who collect and analyze information from varying sources to advance criminal investigations.
- Community Partnerships
This bureau fosters public safety through partnerships with individuals, community-based organizations, and government agencies.
Together, they develop non-enforcement options for police officers and design creative enforcement strategies to improve access to police services.
How Many Precincts Are There in New York?
New York Police Department has 77 precincts, each divided into sectors that correspond with the boundaries of established neighborhoods.
However, you might notice that there are precincts with numbers 109 and up. It doesn’t mean that precincts in NYC are over 77.
The numbers go higher than the actual precincts because the numbering system is designed to provide for future expansion.
In addition, not all precinct numbers are used in each borough, as many were abolished and merged with neighboring ones.
Each precinct is responsible for ensuring the safety of residents, workers, and visitors.
They work hand in hand with the communities they serve to preserve peace and reduce fear.
Precincts cover diverse populations and geographic areas based on location and population density.
The typical New York City Police Department precinct is the size of a midsize American city that has 70,000 to 150,000 residents.
The New York City Police Department’s Staff
How many NYC police officers are there? The New York City Police Department is one of the biggest police departments in the United States.
It boasts 36,000 uniformed officers, 19,000 non-officers, 5,000 school safety agents, 4,500 auxiliary units, and 2,300 traffic enforcement agents who work together to maintain American life.
In terms of facilities, the New York City Police Department has 77 precincts, 12 transit districts, and nine housing police service areas.