Although the New York City Police Department’s history includes extensive investigations and corruption, it also accomplished great strides over a period of time in its efforts to reduce the corruption, find better ways to control the rising crime rate caused by the massive population growth, and support innovative and necessary programs that would benefit the Department as well as the citizens.
Following is just a sampling of the interesting facts from over the years:
* Prior to the NYPD, the city’s population was served by a solo night watch, 31 constables, 100 city marshals, and 5l police officers.
* The State passed a Municipal Police Act on May 7, 1844, which created the police force and abolished the above night watch system. A proposal created a police force of 1,200 officers, which went into effect on May 23, 1845. The Metropolitan Police replaced the Municipal Police in 1857.
* The NYPD was involved with a number of riots in New York City as far back as 1863, and numerous cases of police brutality occurred during the latter part of the 19th century.
* In 1888, legislation appointed female police matrons, and the first four were hired in 1891. In 1912, the first female first-grade detective was appointed as. In 1918, the first female Deputy Commissioner was appointed. In August 1918, the first group of six policewomen was appointed. The Women’s Police Precinct was created in 1921 with 20 patrolwomen.
*Theodore Roosevelt became President of the NYPD Police Commission in 1895, and many reforms were instituted under his leadership. Many new units were established including the Bomb Squad in 1905, the Motorcycle Squad in 1911, an Emergency Service Unit in 1926, an Aviation Unit in 1929, and the Radio Motor Patrol in 1932. The department also was among the first to implement mug shots and fingerprinting techniques.
* In the 1970s, the first bulletproof vests were issued, and by the end of the 1970s, they became standard equipment.
* In the 2000s, the Real Time Crime Center helped to digitize the collection of crime scene evidence and updated forensic and latent print operations.
* After the shock of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and 23 NYPD officers being killed when the World Trade Center collapsed, counter-terrorism initiatives stationed NYPD investigators around the globe for the purpose of gathering intelligence for the protection of New York City. More lives were lost in the year 2001 than in any other year in the Department’s history.