New York City Police Museum

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Rome wasn’t built in a day. Look behind any famous organization and you will likely find individuals that gave years of hard work and dedication that went into creating a reputation for greatness. Greatness is a status that cannot be achieved immediately. Rather, greatness is attained over the course of generations through the sacrifice, dignity, honor, and bravery of individuals. Embodying the aforementioned ideals, the NYPD is the guardian of New York City. Incorporated in 1998, the New York City Police Museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the NYPD and the men and women who serve as the City’s finest. From 10 AM-5 PM daily until October 5th the New York City Police Museum is sponsoring several exhibits at Governors Island.

Links to the Past explores the history of policing tracing back to Johann Lampo patrolling the Dutch settled New Amsterdam. Lampo established a precedent of maintaining the peace that was followed in 1658 by an eight man watch. The watch, the nation’s First Raid Police Force, was responsible for keeping order in a rapidly growing city.

Women in Policing celebrates the contributions of women to the NYPD. This exhibit examines the role of women as pioneers in New York’s law enforcement community. Coinciding with their acceptance in the law enforcement community was a change in women’s standard uniform. Previously, “policewomen” were defined by their outfit which consisted of a skirt, high heels, and a gun stowed in a handbag. This uniform was more a product of the stereotypical garb that women were expected to wear rather than what made sense to wear as a police officer. Today, officers in the NYPD wear a gender neutral uniform. Perhaps unrecognized by citizens, this change in uniform speaks volumes about the enormous progress made in the law enforcement community. Rather than being judged by gender, officers are now viewed by their merit and their strength of character.

The most poignant of all the exhibits, 9/11: A Uniform Response is a memorial to an event that every New Yorker will associate with this City’s courage and ability to fight back and recover from a disastrous day. While tragic, this event honors the heroism of the first responders — firefighters, police officers, medical personnel, and volunteers, who in New York’s darkest hour, showed that the courage and determination of this City’s uniformed forces and people could not be extinguished.