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Nearly Four Centuries of NYPD History Revealed in New Book

SOUTH STREET SEAPORT — A new book chronicling the NYPD from its roots nearly 400 years ago through 9/11 recently hit shelves — giving readers a glimpse into the nation's oldest and largest police force.

New York City Police, co-authored by curator of the New York City Police Museum Joshua Ruff and former NYPD Detective Michael Cronin includes hundreds of photos assembled from the collections and archives of the museum to show the progression of the department from Dutch Colonial times in 1600s to the present day. The beginning of the book starts very peaceful and tranquil in New Amsterdam, with about eight people who took care of the whole city. By the end of the book, we have about 30,000 with space-age technology, Cronin told DNAinfo.com New York. The police department has metamorphosed in ways that the people in the beginning of the book could never have even imagined.

Cronin said that he and Ruff began compiling images, documents and data for the book in 2009, noting that the most difficult part of the process was deciding which pieces of information to leave out. "The hardest thing was narrowing it down," he said. "Josh and I just kept whittling it down and whittling down to come up with a final lOne of Cronin and Ruff's favorite anecdotes that ultimately made the cut describes how officers from the mid-1600s rattled wrought-iron "sticks" to alert citizens of nearby danger."In a way, this was like the first police radio," he said, adding that the object functioned similar to a New Year's Eve noisemaker. 

The book also features a photo and explanation of NYPD's Medal of Valor from 1877, which inspired the logo for the New York Yankees and was designed by famous jeweler Tiffany & Co.Another document details the charges and reports from the Civil War draft riots in 1863, when a massive uprising occurred among working-class residents opposing new laws enacted by Congress that enlisted men to serve in the war. The records are included in the New York City Police Museum archives and had never been previously published.

The book follows the department all the way through the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, with details regarding the NYPD's counter-terrorism efforts and emergence as a global force.

 New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly also wrote the book's forward.To purchase "New York City Police," visit The New York City Police Museum or buy it online at the museum's website.