The New York City (NYC) Police Foundation enhances public safety and quality of life in New York City by mobilizing voluntary contribution of money, time, equipment, and other resources to provide for the unmet needs of the NYPD. The Foundation stimulates the innovation within the NYPD to improve the delivery of police services to the public. It also encourages citizen involvement and community support of the NYPD through the Foundation’s public education activities.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has achieved enormous crime declines, driving crime down to levels not seen since the 1960’s. Every category of felony crime is down by record amounts, which includes at 65% reduction in homicides since 1993. The dramatic success came as a result of decisive changes in the way the NYPD was managed. The NYC Police Foundation has been a crucial partner of the NYPD. The Foundation provided seed capital for important innovations undertaken by the Department in 1994 when the dramatic decline in the crime rate began.
Initially, the Foundation funded the reengineering of the NYPD. This was a major effort that involved hundreds of police personnel in restructuring, reforming and retooling the Department. Secondly, it provided the crime-mapping computer infrastructure for Compstat, the now world-famous strategy and accountability meetings that have directed the NYPD and driven down crime ever since.
The Foundation works to improve cooperation between NYPD and the many communities it serves. It helped fund Streetwise, cutting-edge training that teaches officers about the diverse array of ethnic and international cultures in NYC. It supports citizen’s police academies where adults and teenagers learn about the challenges of being a police officer. In addition, the Foundation sponsors precinct open houses, a precinct/community newsletter called PoliceBeat, and the Commanding Officer for a Day program. It also underwrites the Model Block program which is a successful initiative that strengthens communities to take back their blocks from drug dealers and supporting minority recruitment drives. The Foundation purchases the horses for the Mounted Unit, funds rewards for Crime Stoppers, donates equipment for pilot projects such as bikes that brought back the police bicycle patrols, built a mock courtroom to improve the quality of police testimony, and retained a renowned expert to assess the NYPD’s complex technology needs.
The Foundation has been in existence since 1971. It was founded by civic and business leaders as an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the NYPD and promoting public safety in New York City. The Foundation has raised $27 million for 300 police projects and donated goods and services worth millions of dollars more. The Foundation takes a particular interest in the development, education, and welfare of police officers also. It funds scholarships and awards, built cardiovascular fitness centers and supported a hypertension screening programs, and established an alcohol counseling center. It has also established a suicide awareness program and raised $2.7 million for bulletproof vests for NYPD officers. What began as a groundbreaking partnership is now a national model for implementing cutting-edge innovations in public safety.