American police departments are not only responsible for catching criminals; they are also an integral part of the fabric of the country’s communities. Cops handle everything from routine tasks, such as directing traffic, to the heroic, including being amongst the first to respond to the country’s worst disasters. It is no surprise, then, that the nation’s largest cities rely on the service of thousands of officers and support personnel. Here we look at the country’s largest police departments.
1. NYPD New York City Police Department – THE NYPD was established in 1845 and is one of the most recognizable law enforcement agencies in the world. It is the largest local law enforcement agency in the United States, with approximately 40,000 sworn officers. The NYPD consists of ten bureaus, of which six are strictly for enforcement purposes.
2. Chicago Police Department – The Chicago PD is not only the second largest local law enforcement agency in the country but it is also one of the oldest, dating back to 1837. It was officially recognized and established in 1855. The Chicago PD consists of more than 12,000 sworn officers and nearly 2,000 administrative and executive employees.
3. LAPD: The Los Angeles Police Department – With just over 10,000 sworn officers and almost 3,000 civilian staff, the world-famous LAPD is the country’s third-largest local law enforcement agency. Serving nearly 500 square miles with almost 4 million residents, the department has one of the largest geographical jurisdictions in the world. It has been the subject of countless motion pictures and television programs, which adds to the department’s mystique.
4. Philadelphia Police Department – Designated as the oldest municipal police agency in the United States, the Philadelphia Police Department was formed in 1828 and employs over 6,000 sworn officers, with an average of about 600 new officers sworn in every year.
5. Houston Police Department – Dubbed the largest municipal police department in the state of Texas, the HPD has covers a geographical jurisdiction of more than 600 square miles.