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Frequently Asked Questions | Police Administration

How many Police Officers are there in the NYPD?

The NYPD's current uniformed strength is approximately 34,500.

What is a Stop, Question and Frisk encounter?

When a police officer reasonably suspects that a person has committed, is committing or is about to commit a felony or a Penal Law misdemeanor, the officer is authorized by NYS Criminal Procedure law 140.50 to stop, question and possibly frisk that individual.   This frequently asked question is also available in the following languages: Spanish, Russian, Korean, Italian, French Creole and Chinese.  Click a language below.  

When should you call 911?

When there is an emergency, lives are in danger, serious injury, serious medical condition, crime in progress, or any other situation needing immediate attention.

What should you do if you see a crime occurring?

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Be observant and make mental notes.
  • Are there any weapons involved?
  • What is the address?
  • Any physical characteristics such as height, weight, race, beard, or scars?
  • Any clothing description?
  • How many people involved?
  • Are the persons involved on foot or in a vehicle?
Do I have to give my name when I call 911?

If you wish to remain anonymous or keep information confidential just tell the operator.

How do I apply for a handgun License?

Applicants must submit a signed and notarized application to the License Division along with two money orders. The application fee is $340.00. The fingerprint fee is $99.00. Money orders should be made payable to the "New York City Police Department."

Effective October 1, 2007, the fee for Live Scan fingerprints will decrease to $94.25. The fee for manual (ink) prints will rise to $105.25.

How do I get a copy of an aided or collision record?
  • You must complete the Request for Copy of Aided/Collision Record form.
  • For collision records, appear in person or mail the completed form to the precinct
    where the collision occurred.
  • For aided records, mail the completed form to the N.Y.C. Police Department, Criminal
    Records Section (Aided Unit), 1 Police Plaza, Room 300, New York, NY 10038.
  • Enclose a stamped, self-addressed 9 1/2" X 4" envelope for all mail in requests.
NOTE: You may appear in person at the precinct of occurrence and obtain a copy of your collision record up to 30 days after the date of the collision. If After 30 days, all requests must be mailed to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

How do I get a copy of a complaint report?
  • You must complete the Verification of Crime/Lost Property form.
  • Complainant/Victims will be sent verification free of charge.
  • Other applicants must include a check or money order for $15.00
    processing fee payable to N.Y.C. Police Department.
  • Enclose a stamped, self-addressed 9 1/2" X 4" envelope.
  • Mail all requests to N.Y.C. Police Department, Criminal Records Section
    (Verification Unit), 1 Police Plaza, Room 300, New York, NY 10038.
NOTE: No refunds of the processing fee will be made in any case.

I think I have a warrant for my arrest. How do I find out?

You may contact the Warrant Section. You will be asked a series of questions and an investigator will search the records for you.

How can I clear a warrant?

In order to clear a warrant, the defendant must return to the court that issued it. A judge will decide what happens next. You can report to one of the boroughs Warrants Squads, your local police precinct or police agency if you live outside New York City, or you can go direct to the court of issuance. Once you appear in court, your lawyer may make a motion to reschedule a court date.

Do arrest or bench warrants expire?

Warrants of arrest, which include both arrest and bench warrants, have no expiration date. They are cleared only when abated by death or when a defendant appears before a judge in the court that issued the warrant.

What does Internal Affairs investigate?

The Internal Affairs Bureau investigates allegations of corruption and serious misconduct against members of the NYPD.

How do I make a complaint?

The IAB Command Center office is open for complaint, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A complaint may also be called in by phone to (212) 741-8401, by E-Mail to, or By postal mail to Occupant, P.O. Box 1001, New York 10014; to the Internal Affairs Bureau, located at 315 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013 or in person at any Police Department facility.

Must an individual identify themselves to report an allegation?

No, an individual need not identify themselves in order to report an allegation. However, if not identified that individual must understand they cannot be contacted by the investigative unit for further information.

How many developments are patrolled by the Housing Bureau?

The Housing Bureau patrols 1,567 buildings that make up 176 developments in the City Of New York.

What is a vertical patrol?

Vertical patrol is a process by which a Police Officer systematically and methodically checks each building one at a time, covering roof landings, stairwells and lobbies.

I need help from the Police. Should I call 911 or the Police service area?

If you have a Police Emergency dial 911. If you have a noise complaint, suspect drug activity, or other non emergency situation call your local police service area.

How do I become a Police Officer?

You must pass a medical exam, psychological exam, physical agility exam, background and character investigation. On the day you are hired you must be a United States Citizen, at least 21 years old, have 60 college credits with at least a 2.0 GPA or two years of satisfactory military experience, have a valid drivers license without restrictions, not have been convicted of a felony and be a resident of New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange or Putnam county.

What are the benefits?
  • $34,970 Starting salary (including holiday pay, uniform pay and night differential)
  • Excellent Promotional Opportunities
  • A choice of paid medical and dental programs
  • 20 paid vacation days
  • 27 paid vacation days after 5 years
  • Unlimited sick leave with full pay
  • Annuity Fund
  • Optional Retirement at one half salary after 20 years of service
How do I become a part-time crossing guard?

You may call your local precinct and ask to speak to the highway safety officer for information and an application.

How does one qualify for a press card?

You must be a member of the press and be able to supply the New York City Police Department with proof of your work.

How much is the application fee for press credentials?

There is no filing fee or any other fees for press credentials.

How can I obtain an application for press credentials?

Applicants can call the credentials office at (646) 610-6700. We can fax an application or one can be mailed.

How long is the application process?

A complete application takes approximately 3 to 4 weeks to process.

I am starting out in the business and have not covered any previous assignments. How can I obtain a press card?

The company that hired you has (or can obtain) a temporary reserve working press card. The reserve card will afford you access through police lines.

I have press credentials issued by another state or country and I will be in New York City to cover a major event, will my credentials be honored?

Generally, valid press credentials issued by another jurisdiction are honored by the New York City Police Department. We have in certain instances issued temporary credentials valid for the specific event. We suggest that you call the press credentials office at (646) 610-6700 to inquire about the specific event.