America would quickly decay into chaos, lawlessness, and anarchy without dedicated police protecting and serving our communities.
Yet, policing is inseparable from police-community partnerships. This unity of effort is essential to our way of life and we must be fully committed to enhancing this collaboration.
Every person privileged to call America home must be dedicated to police-community unity.
Our communities must intensify their commitment to the Nine Principles of American Policing to enhance trust between police and communities.
The first of these Nine Principles captures the heart of 21st century American policing:
“Being pro-police and pro-community are inseparable, indefatigable, and pre-eminent.”
The NYPD: America’s Largest Police Department
As detailed on the official New York City government website, “The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is the largest and one of the oldest municipal police departments in the United States, with approximately 36,000 officers and 18,000 civilian employees.
“The NYPD was established in 1845, and today, is responsible for policing an 8.5-million-person city, by performing a wide variety of public safety, law enforcement, traffic management, counterterror, and emergency response roles. In the past 25 years, the department has achieved spectacular declines in both violent and property crime, ensuring that New York City has the lowest overall rate of major crimes in the 25 largest cities in the country.”
NYPD Mission Requires Community Partnerships
The mission of the New York City Police Department is to “enhance the quality of life in New York City by working in partnership with the community to enforce the law, preserve peace, reduce fear, and maintain order. The Department is committed to accomplishing its mission of protecting the lives and property of all citizens of New York City by treating every citizen with compassion, courtesy, professionalism, and respect, while efficiently rendering police services and enforcing the laws impartially, by fighting crime both through deterrence and the relentless pursuit of criminals.”
To conduct this mission, the NYPD is comprised of enforcement, investigations, and administrative bureaus.
Throughout New York City, there are 77 precincts comprised of patrol officers and detectives. There are also 12 transit districts designed to protect nearly six-million daily subway patrons, as well as nine police service areas protecting over 400,000 public housing residents.
Police-Community Collaboration: Crime Plummets
As one born and raised in the Bronx, there is a profound appreciation for the plummeting crime reduction benchmarks taking place in New York City.
As the close of 2017, the NYPD cites preliminary statistics that are cause for all New Yorkers to appreciate, and for the nation to take notice.
These statistics are highlighted by the following:
- The first time the total number of index crimes has fallen below 100,000.
- The first time the number of shooting incidents has fallen below 800.
- The first time the total number of murders has fallen below 300. This reduction in murders has resulted in the lowest per-capita murder rate in nearly 70 years.
As a response to this extraordinary success, Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill captured the heart of Neighborhood Policing, which is critical to reducing crime through police-community partnerships.
O’Neill stated “Crime in New York City has reached a new low … the murder rate has not been lower since the Korean War … we will continue deepening relationships with the public, emphasizing the shared responsibility we have to our safety. I am confident we can do more. And we will.”
The NYPD: A Recap
During the last five years, my articles for the Epoch Times have included policing as topics critical to America.
These articles have included many on the NYPD, which in my opinion is the world’s most renowned police department.
As we begin a new year, a reflection of some highlights from these articles is worthy of review, particularly since they stress principles complementary to Neighborhood Policing.
NYC Terror Incidents Demand Police-Community Unity, Dec. 13, 2107: “Our country’s dedication to a continual collaboration of our police and communities will be the heart of protecting New York City and our nation. This dedication is critical to safeguarding our way of life and deserves our full force dedication.”
Neighborhood Policing Illuminates NYPD Mission, Sept. 15, 2017: “The NYPD with its Neighborhood Policing program is contributing to the Reawakening of the Nation.
The program is reducing crime in New York City, and serves as a model for enhancing pro-police and pro-community partnerships nationwide.”
NYPD Leaders Exemplify Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect, Mar. 23, 2017: “During a moment with Commissioner O’Neill on March 21, after his presentation for the American Academy for Professional Law Enforcement (AAPLE), I asked him for an explanation of the difference between community policing and neighborhood-based policing.
“O’Neill stressed that neighborhood-based policing demands more accountability from the officer. The officer not only develops partnerships with the community but assumes an ownership of responsibility.”
NYPD Counterterrorism: Protecting New York City, Nov. 17, 2016: “The NYPD is dedicated to protecting New York City but all of us must work together.
“This is our country and these are our communities that deserve security, safety, and protection.
“Each of us has a responsibility to have our eyes wide open, enhance our unity of effort, and to live by the mantra, ‘If you see something, say something.’”
Precision Policing: Respecting Our Citizens’ Dignity, Aug. 18, 2016: “As witnessed with controversies, tensions, and problems throughout America, there is a clarion call to enhance police-community relations.
“America must rise to the occasion and ignite a 21st century policing mindset that is built on the pillars of trust, ethics, transparency, and accountability.
“When our nation dedicates itself to enhancing police-community partnerships, and is inspired by the qualities of leadership, vigilance, and collaboration, we will be on the path to reawakening the nation.”
NYPD Renaissance Cops: Safe and Fair Everywhere, Apr. 24, 2016: “The NYPD being the nation’s largest department and the world’s most renowned has the opportunity to revolutionize policing.”
Paris Terror, New Yorkers, and Vigilance, Apr. 24, 2016: “A complete dedication to protect and serve by the NYPD in collaboration with all people is mission critical. Each New Yorker shares the responsibility to exercise leadership, vigilance, and collaboration with the police.”
NYPD, Inspire America: Courtesy, Respect, Community, Jan. 2, 2015: “Policing is an honorable profession but the badge does not guarantee respect, it must be earned and maintained by ethical behavior.
“Police–community relations is the heart of community life. America must rise to the occasion through authentic, respectful actions, never through dishonorable behavior that only builds walls of distrust and contempt.”
NYPD Mission: Terminate, Train, Transform, Dec. 12, 2014: “Police–community cooperation is impossible without trust built on character, ethics, and leadership. These qualities are critical not only to the NYPD but also to police departments all over America.
“The NYPD must be a catalyst for transformation and play a critical role in reawakening the nation by enhancing police–community cooperation.”
Transforming the NYPD: Terminating Toxic Police Officers, Oct. 10, 2104: “The heart of sound law enforcement philosophy is based on the rock-solid Nine Principles of Policing by Sir Robert Peel.
“These principles are summarized by the saying ‘the police and the people are one’ and the thought that effective policing mandates ‘pubic approval of police existence, actions and behavior.’”
NYPD Culture Shift: Enhancing Community Partnerships, Sept. 19, 2014: “The ethical dimension of law enforcement is critical and must be the heart of every police officer.
“The NYPD will be organizationally transformative with building trust in communities when ethical development, accountability, and transparency are the heart of training initiatives.
“The results of the NYPD vision will be a high performance department that cultivates integrity, integrates public safety with citizen rights; enhances crime prevention, diversity, and mutual trust; and showcases the NYPD as a police-community model for reawakening the nation.”
NYPD Mission: Develop 35,000 Ethical Protectors, Aug. 1, 2014: “As the world’s most renowned law enforcement agency, the NYPD must rise to the occasion. Their development of enhanced training initiatives, including cultivating certified ethical protectors, community partnerships, public-private initiatives, and the timeless principles of Sir Robert Peel, are worthy of full-force dedication and will serve as a model to law enforcement agencies worldwide.”
NYPD SHIELD: America’s Public-Private Collaboration Model, Jul. 25, 2014: “This teamwork can be called collaboration, cooperation, or partnership but unequivocally it is a unity of effort between the public and private sector. This cohesiveness is essential for America’s security.”
The Police and The People: A Unity of Effort, Mar. 14, 2014: “A police department is most effective when dedicated to properly upholding community policing, which promotes a unity of effort between the police and the people. This collaboration is critical to New York City and to communities across the globe.”
The NYPD, and all New Yorkers in collaboration with their efforts to protect and serve deserve praise for the reduction of crime in the city.
Yet, these are challenging times in New York and throughout America. We must continue to be vigilant and remain increasingly dedicated to a unity effort to protect our communities and cherished way of life.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen to Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.