Department Chaplain, Imam Khalid Latif, leads the assembly in opening prayer.
Listen to an excerpt from the conference
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly presided Monday over the annual NYPD Pre-Ramadan conference ahead of the religious holiday beginning August 22. He was joined by Department Chaplain Imam Khalid Latif, and Inspector Michael Osgood, Commanding Officer of the Hate Crime Task Force. Approximately 400 people attended the briefing, including members of the NYPD-organized youth cricket and soccer leagues, and the NYPD Muslim Officers Society.
“This is the most sacred time of year for the Muslim faith -- a time of self-reflection, devotion to god, and spiritual discipline. Our goal is to ensure that you are able to experience Ramadan in safety and in peace,” Commissioner Kelly said. “We're proud that New York is the most tolerant city in the world. But we don't take this for granted.”
Inspector Osgood noted that year-to-date, hate crimes citywide have decreased 21%.
Since 2002, the NYPD has distributed guidelines to commanders which overview the observance period, and promote educating precinct personnel on prayers and other activity during Ramadan, including direct contact and visitation with local mosques. The Commanders' Ramadan Guidelines, which also summarize key principles of Islam and associated practices, are provided in addition to cultural awareness training seminars provided to all police officers at the Police Academy.
The NYPD last year established youth cricket and soccer leagues to reach out to South Asian youth who tended not to participate in more traditional after-school and summer sports programs. In its second year, the NYPD United Soccer League and NYPD Twenty20 Cricket have expanded from 10 to 12 teams and approximately 200 players each. More information on these programs can be found at http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/community_affairs/community_affairs.shtml.
Commissioner Kelly and members of the
NYPD Muslim Officers Society after the Department's annual pre-Ramadan
conference at Police Headquarters