New York City, one of the world’s premier urban centers, is also home to the world’s most famous and storied municipal law enforcement service: the NYPD.
Policing in New York is as old as the city itself, although much has changed since the first Dutch rattle watch patrolled streets in the 1620s.
Technological improvements, advancing professional standards, and historical moments like the 1898 consolidation of New York City and the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, have each profoundly changed the way New York City police officers do their jobs.
Still, as New York City Police emphasizes, certain elements of “the job” remain true through the decades and centuries. Being a police officer in New York City has always involved a certain amount of danger, sacrifice, and public coordination.
New York City Police is the product of a large collection of one-of-a-kind historical photographs and archival materials cared for by The New York City Police Museum, which is based inside an original police precinct building in lower Manhattan. Joshua Ruff is the curator of The New York City Police Museum. Michael Cronin, a former NYPD officer and detective, serves as a consultant for The New York City Police Museum.