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.
The NYPD is divided into major bureaus for enforcement, investigations, and administration. It has 77 patrol precincts with patrol officers and detectives covering the entire city. The department also has 12 transit districts to police the subway system and its nearly six-million daily riders, and nine police service areas (PSAs) to patrol the city's public housing developments, which are home to more than 400,000 residents. Additionally, uniformed civilians serve as traffic safety agents on the city's busy streets and highways, and as school safety agents, protecting public schools and the over-a-million students who attend them.