The New York City Police Department (NYPD), established in 1845, is the largest municipal police force in the United States, and the second largest overall Law Enforcement Agency in the U.S. (behind the Customs and Border Protection Agency) with primary responsibilities in law enforcement and investigation within the five boroughs of New York City. The NYPD is one of the oldest police departments established in the United States; tracing its roots back to the first Dutch eight man night watch in 1625, when New York City was New Amsterdam. It has its headquarters at One Police Plaza in Lower Manhattan.
The NYPD has a broad array of specialized services, including the Emergency Services Unit, K-9, harbor patrol, air support, bomb disposal, anti-terrorism, criminal intelligence, anti-gang, narcotics, public transportation, public housing, and Unsolved Crimes; The New York City Transit Police and New York City Housing Authority Police Department were fully integrated into the NYPD in 1995. NYPD has extensive crime scene investigation and laboratory resources, as well as units which assist with computer crime investigations. The NYPD runs an anticrime computer network, essentially a large search engine and data warehouse operated by detectives to assist officers in the field with their investigations. According to the department, its mission is to “enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment.”
Members of the NYPD are frequently referred to by the nickname New York’s Finest. The NYPD is headquartered at One Police Plaza located on Park Row across the street from City Hall.
In June 2004, there were about 40,000 sworn officers plus several thousand support staff; In June 2005, that number dropped to 35,000. As of December 2011, it had increased to slightly over 36,000 with the graduation of a class of 1,500 from the New York City Police Academy. The NYPD’s current authorized uniformed strength is 36,000. There are also approximately 4,500 Auxiliary Police Officers, 5,000 School Safety Agents, 2,300 Traffic Enforcement Agents, and 370 Traffic Enforcement Supervisors currently employed by the department
Formerly called the 26th Precinct, the Unsolved Crimes Unit was formed to, on the surface, solve those Crimes unable to be solved by the other Precincts and Departments within the NYPD, before they went to the Cold Case Files in One Police Plaza. In truth, the Unsolved Crimes Unit is tasked with dealing with those things others would find abnormal – Immortals, Vampires, Wizards, etc. The UCU was formed, by mandate of New York Mayor Ed Koch, in the 70’s, after the miraculous resurrection of the leader of a gang of armed men who hijacked a subway train. (He electrocuted himself to death, only to re-awaken as he was an immortal. He was summarily arrested by Police Lt. Zachary Garber and remains held within the confines of the Van Helsing Correctional Facility on Riker’s Island), specifically to deal with the Supernatural. (It was the UCU who secretly convinced Mayor Koch to back the Ghostbusters in the Goser incident of the Late 80s and who worked closely with The Agency to create the ensuing coverup).
The UCU is led by Captain Elissa Maza, a highly decorated officer, from a long Bloodline of NYPD Cops. Maza is backed up by some of the braver and more daring officers within the NYPD, including Lead Detective Susan Ivanova, the quadruple-decorated (and summarily busted down for various reasons) Detective John McClain, and Detectives Joseph Knight and Hubert Fuller. In addition to the stand out officers listed, 30 other officers serve in the UCU. Interestingly, the UCU survives on a strong budget, mostly due to Captain Maza’s expert handling of Gracie Mansion (the Mayor) as well as the support of the powerful NYC Press.