New York City has one of the largest and most effective police forces in the United States. Strategic deployment of resources, new technology and diligent law enforcement are taking a "bite out of crime." Captains are integral leaders within the structure of the department. There were 355 police captains employed by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) as of 2020. The captain's exam is offered every 2 to 3 years.
Job Description of an NYPD Captain
New York police captains are, first and foremost, police officers sworn to protect the lives and property of the city's citizens. They work to maintain law and order, catch criminals and prevent crime.
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The New York City Police Department's organizational chain of command is modeled after the military. Captains directly supervise squads or companies of officers. Captains are supervised by the police chief or commissioners.
Qualifications to be an NYPD Captain
In order to be eligible to take the NYPD Captain's examination, all candidates must first pass the basic test for NYPD police officers. It does not matter if you have a record of employment as a ranking police officer in another jurisdiction. You must take the test again if you wish to be considered as a captain.
There are also other NYPD requirements. Candidates must have a valid, unrestricted New York State driver's license, pass a drug/alcohol screening test and pass an extensive background and character investigation. Candidates must reside in one of the five boroughs of New York City or in one of the surrounding counties in order to work for the New York City Police Department.
Training for NYPD Captains
NYPD captains have gained their rank through knowledge and experience. The New York Police Department encourages officers to gain additional post-employment educational credits.
The NYPD offers course credits, tuition reduction programs and numerous scholarships to local colleges and universities to help candidates earn their undergraduate or graduate degree in law, police science, business administration or related law enforcement fields of study.
NYPD Captain Salaries
As of July 2022, the top base pay for a NYPD captain is $187,537 according to Indeed.com. The total compensation package includes quite a lot of benefits, as well. All New York police officers, regardless of rank, receive paid medical, dental and eyeglass insurance, paid vacation time, unlimited sick leave with full pay, deferred compensation in the form of a 401 (K) and I.R.A., excellent promotional opportunities, educational opportunities and optional retirement at one-half salary after 22 years of service.
New York City police officers also receive paid holidays, longevity pay, overtime and uniform allowances. Additional benefits are available to NYPD officers with previous military service time.
These benefits and generous compensation packages are not specific to NYPD captains. According to the city of New York, entry level NYPD salaries for any rank are $42,500, and their salary after 5 1/2 years of service is $85,292. They explain that, with holiday pay, longevity pay, the uniform allowance, night differential and any required or volunteers overtime, many members of the NYPD earn well over $100,000.