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History of New York's Finest

NCJ Number
CJ International Volume: 6 Issue: 2 Dated: (March-April, 1990) Pages: 13-20
L A Hauth
Date Published
8 pages
A history of policing in New York City extends from the Dutch era (1625-1664) through the 1970's.
Following the Dutch era, which included the creation of the first professional police department in 1651, the history of New York policing is examined under British rule (1664-1783). This is followed by a review of policing developments in the periods of the Revolutionary War (1776-1783) and independence (1783-1830). The history of New York City policing from the mid-1800's through the turn of the century encompasses the London police model (1830-1845), the municipal police (1845-1857), the first shield (1845), the first patrol guide (1845), the first official uniform (1853), formal training, communications, Civil War draft riots (1863), and the restoration of the Municipal Police Department (1870). The innovations of Theodore Roosevelt in his term on the board of police commissioners (1895) are reviewed, as is the legislative restructuring of New York City in 1898, which became the basis for the modern-day police department. The history of the modern-day New York police in the 20th century addresses the difficult times of the 1920's (prohibition and the stock market crash), coping with traffic and teenagers in the 1930's, the period of World War II, the civil unrest of the 1960's, and meeting the needs of the time in the 1970's.