The NYPD Is One of the World’s Strongest Militaries

When you really think about it, New York City is its own little country. It has a governing body that is tasked with the mountainous responsibility of making everything run smoothly. Part of running a country is keeping the peace inside the borders and protecting yourself from outside threats. That is exactly what the NYPD does on a daily basis. Even the former Mayor Micheal Bloomberg said: “I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh largest army in the world.” That was back in 2011.

So how does the NYPD stack up to militaries around the world? We took a look at the NYPD from this perspective and the similarities to an independent military force are surprising.

1. Sheer manpower

NYPD cars on a sidewalk.

The NYPD is very strong. | Willbrasil21/Getty Images

When it comes to flexing your muscles on the battlefield, numbers come into play a lot. The NYPD staffs roughly 55,000 employees. Roughly 72% of that is uniformed officers. When you compare that to the rest of the world, The NYPD ranks No. 65 in sheer manpower. There are 133 recognized countries in the world, for perspective.

Next: If you consider the NYPD’s fleet, it’s nothing to be scoffed at. 

2. The NYPD’s fleet is bigger than most of the countries on Earth

An NYPD car in Times Square, New York City.

NYC boasts one of the strongest police forces in the world. | Janifest/iStock/Getty Images

Granted the NYPD does not own any Abrams tanks or SAM sites, but it does boast a massive amount of vehicles. Anything from squad cars and armored personnel carriers to helicopters and submersibles. The thing is, a lot of emerging nations don’t even have that kind of armor. Stacked up against armor alone, the NYPD ranks No. 6 in the world with over 9,000 vehicles.

Next: The NYPD Navy has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? 

3. The NYPD has its own navy

An NYPD boat on the water.

You’ll even see the NYPD on the water. | Robinson Becquart/Getty Images

It makes sense that the NYPD would need a lot of water vessels being that the city is situated on an island. What gets really crazy is how it compares to other navies around the world. If we look at numbers alone, the NYPD would rank above half of the world’s navies at No. 65. In total, the NYPD has approximately 36 vessels in its fleet.

Next: The NYPD has a loose definition of jurisdiction.

4. The NYPD operates internationally

NYPD Community Affairs officers.

Not just in New York. | JayLazarin/Getty Images

As with any military force, you need an intelligence branch. The U.S. has the CIA, The Russians have the FSB, The English have the Ministry of Intelligence, and the NYPD has the Counter-terrorism Bureau. Its agents operate in  Hamburg, Tel Aviv, Toronto, London, Lyon, and other major international cities. Those agents work with other agencies like Interpol and Scottland Yard.

Next: They even get their hands dirty when it comes to terrorists.

5. NYPD detectives interrogate terrorists

A jail gate seen with warped barbed wire.

They do all sorts of tough work. | Zudin/iStock/Getty Images

The agents have conducted interrogations at Guantanamo Bay as well as Afghanistan, Egypt, Yemen, and Pakistan. For all intents and purposes, this is the most far-reaching police force on the planet. Domestically, the department would be the equivalent of the FBI.

Next: The NYPD even has specialized military forces.

6. These specialized units are world class

Police cadet graduation.

The NYPD officers get the best training. | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Whether it be land, sea, or air, the NYPD operates within it. In the Special Operations branch of the NYPD, there are five separate units. The Emergency Services Unit, the Aviation Unit, the Harbor Unit, the Mounted Unit, and the Strategic Response Group. These specialized units respond to any emergency situation that can be thrown at them. Think of them like the Seal Team 6 or Pararescue Troopers that serve in our own military.

Next: Having this large of a force get’s expensive and the NYPD budget is astronomical.

7. The NYPD has a budget of $5.5 billion

NYPD officers leaning on a metal barrier.

They have a large budget to work with. | Paul-Daniel Florea/Getty Images

That is a huge budget for a police department. In fact, it is so big, if you were to compare it to the rest of the countries on the planet, the NYPD would rank No. 36 in the world for defense spending. That leave’s 97 other countries who aren’t spending more on their military than the NYPD. It also means that they can compete on a fiscal level with one of our biggest enemies, North Korea.

Next: Almost every military has a weak spot.

8. Their air power is still pretty impressive

An NYPD officer in the sky.

The police force has their own helicopters. | Onnes/iStock/Getty Images

The NYPD owns about a dozen helicopters. Those helicopters are mostly state of the art and perfect for what the NYPD needs them for. However, if they were relying on them for air defense, that would be a major hole in their armor. In fact, they would rank around No. 123 in the world for air power. Luckily, just like most of the countries around the world, the United States can secure that air power for them.

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