The New York City Police Department (NYPD), officially the City of New York Police Department, was established in 1845, and is the largest municipal police force in the United States, having 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.
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, even public housing; The New York City Transit Police and New York City Housing Authority Police Department were fully integrated into the NYPD in 1995. According to the department, its mission is to "enforce the laws, preserve the peace, reduce fear, and provide for a safe environment."
The NYPD Intelligence Division & Counter-Terrorism Bureau, headed by a former CIA operative, has officers stationed in 11 foreign cities such as London, Paris, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Hamburg, and Toronto. 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 in Lower Manhattan 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 36,600 with the graduation of a class of 1,500 from the New York City Police Academy. The NYPD's current authorized uniformed strength is 34,450. 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. In the 1990s the department developed a CompStat system of management which has also entered use in other cities.
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. A Domain Awareness System, a joint project of Microsoft and NYPD, links thousands of closed-circuit television cameras, license plate readers, and other surveillance devices into an integrated system.