These days, it seems everyone has an opinion one way or another about the police—who we are, what we do, and how we do it. But ultimately, this is our narrative to write. This is our opportunity to show the community, the nation, and the world what it means to be a police officer. That is what makes this moment—right now—so vital.
This is our challenge, and our opportunity. We have the chance to shape not just who we are as law enforcement, but who we are as a nation, and a society. It is a tremendous responsibility—demanding and critical at the same time. All of the unresolved questions have brought us here, to this moment, and to the decisions that will shape police-community relations for decades to come. And the NYPD will lead the way.
We will begin with what I call the “Five Ts”—Trust, Training, Technology, Terrorism, and Tackling Crime. The purpose of these Five Ts is ensuring that we get both halves of “public safety” right. They form the framework of the NYPD’s Plan of Action — a fully interactive web-based document that details all the ways in which the Department will move forward into the next era of American policing. It incorporates much of what the members of the Department brought to our attention during our Reengineering initiative—a process that still continues.
We live in interesting times, and they are going to get even more interesting. But whatever happens now, one thing is certain: critical changes are coming, at a critical time. And despite all the great work we have done, more is going to be expected of us. But here is what I believe:
As leaders of American policing, we are perfectly positioned to deal with this crisis, see it as an opportunity, and change this indispensable profession for the better. We will not repeat history—we will make it. We will make public safety a shared responsibility that all of us embrace. And if we get it right, that is a legacy. And we will get it right.
Now the real work begins, as we deliver on our pledge to build one New York City, safe and fair—everywhere, for everyone.