88th Precinct Community Council

Community and NY Police Department working together!

Crime Prevention | Crime Prevention Section

The mission of the Crime Prevention Section is to provide crime deterrent services and programs to the citizens and businesses within the City of New York. Included in this endeavor are programs consisting of informative lectures, crime reduction programs, and outreach initiatives. These complimentary services not only assist in the supresssion of crime but also minimize the fear and negative perception associated with crime through a working partnership between the police and the community.  The Crime Prevention Section is a sub-unit of the Community Affairs Bureau.

Historical Overview

In 1969, a new approach in fighting crime in the New York City came about as a result of a grant from the Vera Institute of Justice. The basic premise of the project was that certain common characteristics made locations or businesses within New York City more likely targets of crime. The Premise Protection Squad evolved from that project. As a sub unit within the Detective Division's Safe, Loft and Truck Squad, the unit was staffed with personnel who had some background, education, or experience in the field of physical security.

In the latter part of 1971 the original project was deemed to be a success by then Police Commissioner, Patrick Murphy and Chief of Detectives, Albert Seedman. This opinion was based specifically on the response of the business and public sectors that were making use of the specially trained personnel. Today the unit has expanded its areas of expertise and services and is still acclaimed as a positive approach to crime reduction.

In 1972, the original Premise Protection Squad became the Crime Prevention Squad, under the Chief of Detectives. The Crime Prevention Squad's personnel were selected from Detective Bureau assignments based on their strong investigative backgrounds and physical security experience. The same standards were utilized in selecting the precinct crime prevention officers. The precinct officers were chosen from the patrol force based on a set of specific criteria, some of which were: imagination and initiative, familiarity with investigations of various crimes, integrity, broad written and oral communication skills, and a strong educational background.

Over the course of the next six years (1972-1978) the Crime Prevention Squad became the Crime Prevention Section. During this same period, the Section was transferred from the Office of the Chief of Detectives to the Special Operations Division; shortly thereafter, to the Chief of Patrol; and then to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Community Affairs. On July 5, 2001, the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Community Affairs was reorganized. As a result, the Crime Prevention Section was placed under the aegis of the Chief of Department.  On August 3, 2006, the Crime Prevention Section was placed under the organization of Community Affairs Bureau.

The Crime Prevention Section is comprised of four sub-units; the Borough Liaison Team, the Training Team, the Security Team and the Special Projects Team. The Crime Prevention Section accomplishes its mission through its dedicated and knowledgeable staff.

Borough Liaison Team

Crime Prevention teams act as liaisons with each of the Patrol and Detective Borough commands. Officers attend various crime strategy meetings and assist commanding officers with developing crime prevention strategies at the precinct level. The Borough Liaison Team is responsible for reviewing security surveys conducted by patrol personnel.

Security Team

The primary function of the Security Team is to conduct security surveys and lectures for private venues and civic/government groups. The Security Team routinely performs surveys at Diplomatic Missions, Consulates, government facilities, for high profile persons, major corporations, health care facilities, colleges, schools and religious institutions.

Special Projects Team

The Special Projects Team primarily handles large scale surveys and projects. As a result of the expertise and professional manner demonstrated with past undertakings, the Special Projects Team is routinely requested to participate in Value Engineering Studies and Risk Assessments for City construction projects. CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles are applied early on in the design of these projects. This team has also been increasingly called upon to conduct surveys relative to highly sensitive security issues at all levels of government.


Services of the Crime Prevention Section

Security Surveys

A security survey is a confidential, in-depth written report that evaluates the existing security and procedures of a premise. A private home, for example, may only entail locks, doors, windows and an alarm system. A corporate facility may require addressing a much wider range of needs, such as closed circuit television, electronic access control, fencing, security lighting, mail handling and visitor screening procedures. The survey will address security vulnerabilities and outline corrective measures. The Department provides this service free of charge. The preparation of confidential surveys requires a technical expertise in the field of security that few members of the Department have acquired. Therefore, our personnel must be knowledgeable on new developments in the security industry. Members of the command have been trained or have an extensive knowledge in physical security.


The Crime Prevention Section provides lectures to all sectors of the community on a wide variety of topics. A lecture may address a particular crime pattern or issue, or be more generic, based upon the request of the client. The audiences range from kindergarten students to senior citizens.


One of the most successful lecture programs conducted by the Section is the Officer McGruff Program. The McGruff Program is a child crime prevention program utilizing the nationally recognized McGruff character to reinforce our Crime Prevention message. This program is highly sought after by schools, community groups and official police sponsored events. 

Crime Prevention Literature

As part of our public education campaign, the Crime Prevention Section has prepared pamphlets and flyers on a variety of topics as they relate to crime prevention. The crime Prevention Section is constantly updating and creating literature on new crime trends to assist precinct and borough commanders in their crime prevention initiatives. Over the last four years approximately one million brochures and pamphlets have been made available for dissemination.


Crime Prevention Programs

In addition to conducting lectures and security surveys, the Crime Prevention Section is also responsible for developing and monitoring precinct based crime prevention programs. These programs consist of the following:

Operation I.D.

Operation Identification is a highly successful program, which is offered free of charge by the New York City Police Department. The program involves engraving the property owners social security or federal tax I.D. number along with the letters N.Y.C. on all portable valuables such as computers, fax machines, copiers, etc. and registering only the number and the owners name and address with the Police Department. This program can be implemented by contacting your local Precinct's Crime Prevention Officer. The officer will loan you an engraver, which is used to mark all equipment.

The benefits derived from this program are:
  • Special New York City Police Department decals are issued which are affixed to windows alerting people that all property contained within, has been registered in this program.
  • The marked property is more difficult for a thief to sell.
  • Stolen property in the possession of a thief is easily traceable to its rightful owner.
  • Found property can easily be identified and returned to the rightful owner.
Combat Auto Theft (CAT)
  • Vehicle owners register vehicle at their local precinct, when the car is normally not operated between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
  • Decals are affixed to the rear side windows of the registered vehicle.
  • Owner signs waiver giving police the authority to stop vehicle if it is seen being operated during program hours.
Commuter Combat Auto Theft (C-CAT)
  • Goal: reduce theft of automobiles parked during the business day by commuters.
  • Vehicle will be parked during business hours under normal conditions between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
  • Owner signs waiver giving police the right to stop vehicle if it is seen being operated during program hours.
  • Decals are similar to CAT decals with the addition of black stripes.
Help End Auto Theft (HEAT)
  • Majority of persons arrested for auto theft are under 25 years of age.
  • Owner registers vehicle at local precinct.
  • Vehicle owner must be at least 40 years of age and signs a waiver stating that persons under 25 years old do not normally operate the vehicle. This waiver further states that the police have the authority to stop the vehicle anytime a person apparently under the age of 25 years old is operating the auto.
Taxi/Livery Robbery Inspection Program (TRIP)
  • Goal: to promote taxi & livery driver safety.
  • Police are permitted to briefly stop an enrolled vehicle at any time of the day or night to verify the safety of the driver and riders.
Bike Registration
  • Goal: to enroll bicycles into the program in each precinct.
  • Bicycle is marked with an identification number using an engraver. A decal is affixed to the bicycle, which is difficult to remove. In the event that it is removed "void" appears on what remains of the decal.
  • In the event that the bicycle is stolen and recovered, it can be traced back to the owner through I.D. number.
Vin Etching
  • The auto's vehicle identification number is etched onto all of the vehicles glass.
  • Serves to deter theft and trace the stolen parts.