To the men and women of the New York City Police Department:
New Year’s Day marks the beginning of 2017 and a fresh chapter in our lives that will see many more NYPD successes realized on behalf of all New Yorkers.
We contemplate the highs and lows of 2016, from unprecedented achievements in driving down crime, to the murder of Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo in the Bronx. And while we will never forget the immeasurable sacrifice Paul and so many other police officers have made in the name of keeping people safe, we look forward to a new era of accomplishments, both personal and professional.
You have a difficult job, emotionally as well as physically. But none of us became cops because we thought it would be easy. We took this job because we wanted to make a difference in people’s lives; we wanted to lead lives of significance. And you do that, every day.
Thank you to those who are working today, and those who worked last night – not just in and around Times Square, but in sector cars and on foot posts, in precincts and housing developments and the subway system, in every corner of our great city. You are the reason the NYPD remains the standard for all other police agencies around the world.
You are also the reason our neighborhood policing initiative – a total operational shift in how we patrol and protect our city – continues to be well-received by New Yorkers. Already in more than half of our commands, it will expand to two-thirds of the city in the upcoming months. Make no mistake, this crime-fighting model is an effective departure from traditional law enforcement methods – and you’re the ones making it work.
Take pride in what you accomplished in 2016. You forged new and lasting partnerships with residents and workers in the neighborhoods you patrol. And when adversity challenged us as a department, you boldly met it head-on.
This year promises to be one of great opportunity. Certainly, there will be times that try us in 2017 – that is the nature of this job we chose. But we will record moments of great triumph, through crimes prevented and lives saved, and we’ll again achieve what they said was not possible.
Happy New Year to each of you, your families, and your friends. And, as always, remain safe.
James P. O’Neill