Law enforcement in New York City

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Law enforcement in New York City is carried out by numerous law enforcement agencies. New York City has the highest concentration of law enforcement agencies in the United States.

As with the rest of the US, agencies operate at federal and state levels. However, New York City's unique nature means many more operate at lower levels.

Federal government agencies[edit]

State government agencies[edit]

The Government of New York State operates one of the highest numbers of law enforcement agencies in the United States. While their jurisdiction stretches throughout New York City, many functions are duplicated by municipal agencies.

Government departments[edit]

City government agencies[edit]

Members of city law enforcement agencies receive their powers and privileges from the state Criminal Procedure Law in one of three ways:

  • as police officers, under Article 2, §1.20,
  • as peace officers, under Article 2, §2.10, sub 25
  • as special patrolmen, under Article 2, §2.10 sub 27

Designation as a special patrolman is unique to New York City, and is granted by the Commissioner of the NYPD under section 14-106 of the New York City Administrative Code in conjunction with the New York State Criminal Procedure Law Article 2 Section 2.10 Sub 27, and are governed by protocols of Chapter 11 Title 38 of the Rules of the City of New York. This designation provides non commissioned private sector special patrolmen full powers and privileges as peace officers while on-duty, with five commissioned exceptions retaining their authority off-duty as well - school safety officers, parking control specialists, taxi and limousine inspectors, urban park rangers and evidence and property control specialists.

Non commissioned Special Patrolman, under the umbrella of their parent organization NYPD, must abide by regulation uniform requirements issued by the direction of the police commissioner as with commissioned officers, and must execute their duties to the same standard in accordance with the New York Police Department Patrol Guide. Non commissioned and privatized special patrolman are Included in the DCJS (Department of Criminal Justice Systems) Police / Peace Officer Registry, and are New York State POST (Peace Officer Standard of Training) certified. Non commissioned special patrolman also must be formally trained and familiar with all aspects of the New York State Penal Law, and possess powers to issue both VTL (vehicle traffic law) and C (criminal) summonses for violation, misdemeanor and felony offenses, and to effect arrest.

There are at least sixteen City law enforcement agencies (including the FDNY Fire Marshals) and these are listed in the table below.

Force Parent department Duties Status Amount of Sworn Personnel
New York City Police Department (NYPD) - General law enforcement within and concerning the city police officers Approx. 36,230
New York City Sheriff's Office New York City Department of Finance Primarily civil law enforcement and the investigation of city tax and deed fraud peace officers Approx. 150
New York City Department of Environmental Protection Police (DEP Police) New York City Department of Environmental Protection General law enforcement at areas of the city's water supply system police officers Approx. 200
New York City Department of Investigation - The investigation of city governmental corruption & fraud peace officers -
New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission Enforcement (TLC) - The enforcement of city taxi licensing regulations and traffic laws concerning livery vehicles peace officers -
New York City Department of Homeless Services Police (NYC DHS Police) New York City Department of Homeless Services General law enforcement at NYC-DHS facilities peace officers Approx. 380
New York City Human Resources Administration Police Department (NYC HRA Police) New York City Human Resources Administration General law enforcement in NYC Human Resources Administration facilities special patrolmen 130
New York City Department of Sanitation Police (DSNY Police) New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Primarily the enforcement of city sanitation laws and health code regulations peace officers Approx. 130
New York City Parks Enforcement Patrol (NYC PEP) New York City Department of Parks and Recreation General law enforcement at NYC Parks Dept. properties special patrolmen Approx. 85
New York City Department of Probation - Provides supervision for people placed on probation in the Supreme, Criminal, and Family courts. peace officers -
City University of New York Public Safety Department City University of New York (CUNY) General law enforcement at CUNY campuses and facilities peace officers Approx. 715
New York City Fire Department Fire Marshals New York City Fire Department (FDNY) The investigation of fires and arson within the city police officers Approx. 150
New York City Department of Correction (NYCD) - Primarily general law enforcement within and concerning city correctional facilities peace officers Approx. 9500
New York City Police Department School Safety Division New York City Police Department (NYPD) General law enforcement at NYC public schools peace officers Approx. 5000
New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services Police New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) General law enforcement at all NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services facilities. peace officers -
New York City Department of Health and Hospitals Police (NHYP) New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYC HHC) Security and law enforcement at NYC HHC facilities peace officers Approx. 1250
New York City Administration for Children's Services Police (ACS Police) New York City Administration for Children's Services Access control, outer perimeter patrols, conflict resolution, safe guard remanded clients, issue summonses, make arrests, and general law enforcement at NYC ACS facilities peace officers -

Since 1942, correction and probation services have been handled by separate agencies, not the sheriff's office,[1] as opposed to the common U.S. practice of these municipal-level services being carried out by sheriffs.

The New York City Marshals, who are independent public officers enforcing civil debt, are not peace officers. New York City Marshals are regulated by the New York City Department of Investigation. [2]

Private agencies[edit]

Uniquely, for New York City, a number of private communities and entities operate their own public safety departments. Their members are either special patrolmen (and thus have Peace Officers powers in New York state) or just New York State peace officers:

Force Parent department Duties Status Amount of Sworn Personnel
Bay Terrace Public Safety Department Cord Meyer Development LLC - Bay Terrace Shopping Centre General law enforcement at Bay Terrace peace officers (as Special Patrolmen) -
Big Six Towers Public Safety Department Mitchell-Lama cooperative housing company Public Safety duties at Big Six Towers peace officers (as Special Patrol Officers) 8
Co-op City Department of Public Safety (CCPD) Co-op City Primarily public safety of residents and visitors in Co-op City Peace officers Approx. 100+
Hunts Point Department of Public Safety (HPPS) Hunts Point Cooperative Market Enforce city and state laws at the Hunts Point Cooperative Market, protect the people and property of the market, including facilities, storefronts, railways peace officers (as Special Patrolmen) Approx. 20
Morningside Heights Housing Corporation Department of Public Safety (MHHC PSD) Morningside Gardens Ensure the security of all Morningside Gardens residents as well as the protection of Corporation property. Peace officers (as Special Patrolman) -
New York Racing Association Peace Officers New York Racing Association responsible for enforcing NYS laws as well as NYRA rules and regulations both on and around NYRA facilities per NYS law peace officers and fire marshals -
Parkchester North Public Safety Department Parkchester, Bronx Primarily public safety of residents and visitors in Parkchester North peace officers (as Special Patrol Officers) -
Parkchester South Public Safety Department Parkchester, Bronx Primarily public safety of residents and visitors in Parkchester South peace officers (as Special Patrol Officers) Approx. 65
Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department (RIPSD) Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation General public safety duties at Roosevelt Island, and the Manhattan and Roosevelt Islands stations of the Roosevelt Island Tramway Peace officers (as Special Patrolmen) 40
Sea Gate Police Department (SGPD) Seagate Home Association SGPD protect property, citizens and enforce state and city laws in the community of Sea Gate, Brooklyn peace officers less than 20
Starrett City Department of Public Safety Starrett City Preserve the life and property of the residents of the complex and enforce New York State Laws as well as New York City laws. peace officers -

Prosecuting Attorneys[edit]

In New York State, each county has an elected district attorney who is responsible for the prosecution of violations of New York state laws. Federal law in the city of New York is prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York or the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Office Jurisdiction Duties
Bronx County District Attorney's Office The Bronx Prosecution of violations of New York state laws
Kings County District Attorney's Office Brooklyn Prosecution of violations of New York state laws
New York County District Attorney's Office Manhattan Prosecution of violations of New York state laws
Queens County District Attorney's Office Queens, New York Prosecution of violations of New York state laws
Richmond County District Attorney's Office Staten Island Prosecution of violations of New York state laws
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York New York, Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, Sullivan Prosecution of violations of U.S. federal laws
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Kings, Queens, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk Prosecution of violations of U.S. federal laws

Defunct agencies[edit]


  • Defunct Agencies from the Bronx
    • Bronx County Safety Patrol
    • Kingsbridge Town Police Department
    • Town of Morrisania Police Department
    • West Farms Town Police Department


  • Defunct Agencies from Brooklyn
    • Brooklyn Police Department
    • Brooklyn Bridge Police
    • Brooklyn Town Police Department
    • Bushwick Town Police Department
    • Flatbush Town Police Department
    • Flatlands Town Police Department
    • New Utrecht Town Police Department


  • Defunct Agencies from Queens
    • Flushing Town Police Department
    • Long Island City Police Department
    • Jamaica Town Police Department




  • Merged into the New York City Sherriff's Office
    • Bronx County Sheriff’s Office
    • Kings County Sheriff's Office
    • New York County Sheriff’s Office
    • Queens County Sheriff’s Office
    • Richmond County Sheriff’s Office


  • Succeeded by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Police
    • New York City Bureau of Water Supply Police

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McKinley, Jesse. "F.Y.I.", The New York Times, November 27, 1994. Accessed January 21, 2008. "Established in 1626, the Sheriff's office in Manhattan and its equivalents in the other boroughs served as a major part of the patchwork of law-enforcement agencies that existed before the city's consolidation in 1898. After that, the new New York City Police Department took over the responsibility for criminal investigations and arrests. As recently as 1942, the Sheriff was also responsible for manning and administering the city's jails, a duty now carried by the Department of Correction. Today, the sheriff's primary duties are enforcing court-ordered judgments and fines, including unpaid parking tickets and littering fines, and collecting judgments from reluctant losers in private lawsuits, said John George, the Sheriff's executive assistant. "
  2. ^ "NYC Marshals Handbook". Website of the City of New York Department of Investigation. City of New York. Retrieved 26 April 2014.