New York City Police Department

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Community Affairs | Community Participation Programs
Precinct Community Councils


Originally established in the 1940's, Precinct Community Councils are forums that provide on-going, direct communication between the police and community.  Community members meet regularly with the precinct Commanding Officer and Community Affairs Officers to discuss and find solutions to public-safety problems in their neighborhood. There are 86 councils citywide, including one in each precinct and each housing Police Service Area.  Meetings are held once per month and open to the public and your attendance is encouraged.  To find out more information about the precinct community council meetings, such as the times, dates, and the locations of meetings, please visit the links below. 

Precinct Community Council Meetings: visit your precinct web page
Community Council Guidelines: visit HERE

Civilian Observation Patrol

The mission of the New York City Police Department’s Civilian Observation Patrol Program is to enhance the quality of life in our city by working in partnership with the New York City Police Department to observe and report suspicious and criminal activity, to preserve the peace, reduce fear and provide for a safe environment. 

What is the C.O.P.?


  • The Civilian Observation Patrol is a neighborhood watch program involving responsible civilians who volunteer to act as the eyes and ears of the Police Department. These volunteers patrol their own neighborhoods and report suspicious and criminal activity that require Police attention.
  • Members of Civilian Observation Patrols assist the Police and other Emergency personnel by observing and reporting incidents, conditions and crimes.
  • By maintaining a visible presence in the community, Civilian Observation Patrols help deter crime and promote neighborhood safety and security.

 Contact: Your local precinct, or call 646-610-5323 for more information.

Ride Along Program

Ever wonder what it is like to ride in a NYPD police vehicle and patrol New York City? The Ride Along program lets you do just that- ride along in a police vehicle with NYPD police officers while they do patrol.  It lasts for approximately two hours and you get to experience firsthand what a police officer on patrol encounters during a tour of duty.  The program is open to New York State residents over the age of 18 and visiting government and law enforcement officials.  All applicants are subject to a thorough background check and must submit their application three weeks in advance. Each participant must sign a waiver and wear a bullet resistant vest that is provided by the NYPD.

For more information, contact 646-610-5323.  To download a copy of the Ride Along Application, you may do so here. 



  • Applicants must be 18 years or older and a bona fide resident of New York State.
  • Applications can be downloaded from, (click on Community Affairs, click on Participation Programs, choose Civilian Observer Ride Along Program), or can be downloaded here.
  • Applications must be received by the Community Affairs Bureau within the following period:
    • New York State Residents:     15 Days prior to request date.  
    • Law Enforcement Personnel:  30 Days prior to request date.
    • Walk-in applicants will not be approved.
  • Law Enforcement applicants must submit their application with a copy of their passport, a copy of their Law Enforcement ID and a sponsorship/endorsement letter from their employer, organization or agency head on their company letterhead.
  • New York State applicants must submit a copy of their New York State ID with the application. 
  • All applications are subject to approval and background checks by the NYPD.
  • Applications are encouraged to complete a survey form at the conclusion of the ride.   


  • A valid photo ID and the Ride Along Permission Slip must be presented at the time of the ride.
  • The use of cameras, recording devices and cell phones are prohibited.
  • If an emergency should occur during the tour, for your own safety, you must comply with any order or directive given to you by the officer(s).
  • Journalism students and/or any person(s) affiliated with a Media organization must state reason for participation on a separate sheet.
  • No weapons or any other items prohibited by law, including self-defense sprays are allowed, while participating in the program.
  • All participants will be provided with a body armor that must be worn during the ride. 
  • Ride Along will be cancelled, if applicant arrives more than 15 minutes late for appointment.



Citizens Police Academy

The Citizens Police Academy program was first implemented in 1993 as part of the Department’s ongoing effort to develop a working relationship with the community. This 14-week program is offered 2 times per year: during the Spring and Fall. Participants are nominated by the Commanding Officers of every Precinct, Transit District, and Housing Police Service Area. 

Experienced Training Bureau instructors provide training in the legal, social and procedural aspects of policing. In addition to core courses, other areas of study include firearms discipline and counterterrorism. Lectures, electronic media, role-plays, simulations, and workshops are utilized to educate community members about police training and tactics, with the goal of having participants acquire a better understanding of the authority and limitations of the police. The information and insight gained from the program allows all involved to assess their roles and responsibilities in fostering effective and productive police-community partnerships.

Contact: Your local precinct

The Police Museum

The Police Museum, an independent non-profit institution, holds formal collections of current and archival police memorabilia. Cutting edge technology allows the visitor to travel through the annals of the Department’s history as well as placing them in the shoes of a police officer in a 3-D virtual “Shoot, Don’t Shoot” simulator. The Museum is located at 100 Old Slip, between Water and South Streets and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10am-5pm.

Link:  Police Museum 

Contact: 212-480-3100