The Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information is operational twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, to receive police related information from the NYPD Operations Unit, other department commands, outside governmental agencies, and to disseminate information to the media. The initial receiver of information is usually a DCPI staff member assigned to press liaison duties. The appropriate details from information received are entered into a computer on an "Action Sheet" and placed on a clipboard for perusal by reporters or read to members of the media on the telephone. In cases of homicide, high profile arrests or major occurrences, the basic information is put on the "press wire" (facsimile) and transmitted to all major news outlets. DCPI personnel respond to follow-up inquiries and updates by adding additional information on the "Action Sheet." A reasonable estimate of telephone traffic in and out of the office ranges from six hundred to one thousand calls on weekdays to several hundred per day on the weekend. Approximately ten thousand "Action Sheets" are logged in per year.
The Deputy Commissioner, Commanding Officer, Supervisors and Uniformed Members of the staff respond to incidents in the field which prompt a large media presence, e.g., major parades, disasters, disorders, major crime scenes, press conferences/briefings, etc. In some cases, such as a police officer shot, response by DCPI is required at multiple sites (scene and hospital). When staffing is insufficient to cover both the office and a breaking situation in the field simultaneously, assignment of off duty member(s) is provided at any hour to coordinate designation of press areas, spokespersons and releasable information.
What is non releasable information?
Information posing an undue risk to the personal safety of members of the Department, media representatives, victims or others.
Information that may interfere with police operations.
Information that adversely affects the rights of an accused or the investigation or prosecution of a crime.
Information concerning the identity of children under 16 years of age who are complainants or arrested except when arrested for a crime which would classify them as a Juvenile Offender (Penal Law Sec. 10.00), sub 18).
Information concerning the victim of a sex crime.
At all times
The Deputy Commissioner and Commanding Officer are immediately accessible to provide guidance and/or physical response in the event of any situation requiring the same. Similarly, both have immediate access to members of the Department at the executive staff level in any situation requiring conferrals and/or notifications. In matters of unusual importance, members of the media have the ability to reach, either directly or through the office, the Deputy Commissioner and Commanding Officer. In any event, the Police Commissioner and appropriate members of the executive staff are kept apprised of developing or ongoing incidents and information.
In appropriate cases involving employees of an outside agency, notification and conferral with the respective public information office of the affected agency is routinely done.
A DCPI representative is normally requested to attend meetings and conferences held to plan for upcoming events in the city, e.g., parades, demonstrations, visits by dignitaries, etc.
The Deputy Commissioner, Commanding Officer and Supervisors participate in training sessions (recruits, promotees, investigators) and Executive Development courses scheduled by the Police Academy and Detective Bureau on the topic of police and the media. Police Officers / Detectives assigned to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information receive on the job training under the oversight of a supervisor and an experienced member of the staff.
In House Press
The New York City Police Department is unique in that it provides working space within Police Headquarters to members of the news media. The "in house press", as referred to by the DCPI Staff, are reporters assigned to cover the police beat. They only cover stories involving the NYPD. Their years of experience on the police beat and convenient location afford them a close working relationship with the DCPI Staff as well as other members of the Department. The reporters represent media outlets such as the Daily News, N.Y. Post, N.Y. Newsday, N.Y. Times, Associated Press Wire Service, El Diario and El Mundo. Their offices are located on the second floor of Police Headquarters, One Police Plaza (commonly referred to as 1PP). The offices are referred to as "the shack", a term that dates back to when they were housed in a trailer across from Police Headquarters.
Request for Interviews
Police related news in New York City is sought after by the print and electronic
media with a fervor and consistency rarely exceeded in coverage of non police
topics. Television, radio and major daily newspapers devote the majority of
their news coverage time and space to such topics as crime civil demonstrations,
disasters, high profile dignitary visits, civil disorders, and major trials. All
these topics generate a heavy volume of inquiries and requests for
spokespersons, briefings, press conferences, statements, advisories, and
in-depth details of newsworthy incidents. All such inquiries and requests are
funneled through the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information. We
accept requests for interviews from local, national and international news
agencies. Requests can be made for any member of the Department from the Police
Commissioner to the Police Officer walking the beat regardless of the unit
assigned. Inquiries can be made in writing to:
Deputy Commissioner, Public Information One Police Plaza - Room
1320 New York, N.Y. 10038 Attn: DCPI