In the recent years, there have been significant changes in most of the policing departments across the globe. This is attributable to the technological and economic changes among other notable aspects. Safir and Whitman (2003) argue that law-enforcing agencies were forced to change in order to keep pace with the various sweeping demographic shifts. It is notable that these changes, adopted by the law enforcers, not only affect the communities that they look after, but also the overall structure of their forces. In the U.S., a lot of emphasis has been made on how to strengthen the interaction between public and police, a factor that has enormously improved the security in the U.S. (Safir and Whitman, 2003). This paper will candidly look at the major changes, which have taken place in the New York Police Department (NYPD) for the last 100 years.
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The History of Policing In the New York City from 1900 To Date
It is clear that the NYPD has undergone tremendous changes since 1845, when it was launched. Frum (2000) argues that, the NYPD is the biggest municipal agency among the U.S. police. The key responsibility of this body is to keep law enforcement as well as the investigation in the five notable areas of the NYC (Marilynn, 2003). The force that has a broad array of highly specialized services is headquartered at One Police Plaza, situated in lower Manhattan. Some of these arrays focused services include the harbor patrol, K-9, bomb disposal, air support, narcotics, anti-terrorism, even public housing, public transportation, criminal intelligence and anti-gang police departments.
At the start of the 20th century, under the good guidance of the Roosevelt Theodore, who was the head of the police department in the New York Police, reforms of this body had been started. This was due to the notable innovations, which occurred as a result of technological changes. Consequently, the police unit was able to come out with fresh units, such as the Emergency Service Unit and Motorcycle Squad among others. The fall of the economy during the 1970 resulted to extremely poor conditions in the NYC, thus making the city to become lawless. To make the matter worse, the entire city department was hired on freeze due to the financial crises, - a factor that led to higher crime rates in the entire city (Marilynn, 2003).
The city oversaw tremendous drop in crime rates at the beginning of 90’s. This was the result of the implementation of the CompStat plan, adopted under the demographic changes, wrecked windows policing together with the high outbreak of cocaine trade. The traffic department of the New York in 1995, together with the housing authorities and transit police, merged with the New York Police Department (Marilynn, 2003). Later, there was the establishment of the New York City Police Department School Safety Division in order to enhance wellbeing in all the public schools found in NYC.
Since the onset of the 21st century, the major challenge of the NYPD has been on ways to fight modern crimes such as terrorist’s attacks and cyber attacks among others. The most tragic example happened on September 11, 2001, - that was the collapse of World Trade Center as a result of terrorist’s attacks. This resulted to deaths of more lives as compared to other years of the entire history of the department. Consequently, in 2002, the NYPD Counter-Terrorism Bureau was established to prevent any terrorist attacks (Safir and Whitman, 2003).
As indicated above, there are several notable commissioners, who have significantly affected policing in the NYPD. One of the notable commissioners was Howard Safir. Born in 1941, Safir was appointed as the 39th Police Commissioner on April 1196, after serving at different capacities within the force, such as the Fire Commissioner (Frum, 2000). During his tenure in the office, he reduced homicides and crimes by 44 to 38%, which was the lowest level in the past three decades. To achieve this, he established major anti-drug initiatives as well as Fugitive Strategy throughout the NYC. He also contributed to the use of DNA tests in policing among other notable achievements (Safir and Whitman, 2003).
The other commissioner of the NYPD who tremendously changed the force was Bernard Bailey. He served as a police commissioner in the City of New York from 2000 to 2001. As indicated by Rudolph Giuliani, the mayor of the NYC, Bailey enormously reduced crime rates in this city, a factor that led to robust economic growth (Frum, 2000). As the police commissioner, he made several notable arrests, one being that of a paroled killer, among others. Although the September 11 attacks took place during his tenure in office, he significantly contributed to the growth of this force in those notable aspects. Raymond Walter Kelly, the current commissioner of the NYPD, is the first person to be in that office for two non-consecutive tenures. In conjunction with Central Intelligence Agency, he is accredited for his policies, which have revamped the NYPD into one of the world-class counter-terrorism operations. Other achievements include improving community policing, enforcement of quality of life offenses. Mayor Dinkins took an active part in implementing these standards (Safir and Whitman, 2003). All of these policies, which have been enacted by Raymond Walter Kelly have significantly changed the lives of many residents as they can be able to carry on with their businesses with minimal fear of insecurity.
From the above information, one can see that the NYPD has undergone tremendous changes since the establishment in 1845, thus making it as one of the most successful police departments in the 21st century. These can be attributed to the good leadership of police commissioners, nominated to head this body as well as the willingness of the residents to corporate with the force to improve security in this city (Frum, 2000). For this force, there is the need to educate all employees on the way to combat modern crimes, such as cyber attacks among other types of modern forms of terrorisms. Further, there is the need to enhance community policing in the entire NYC. This is due to the fact that police could be able to collaborate effectively with the residents in establishing as well as arresting all criminals living in this area.