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One of the reasons why I began to collect patches is my interest in learning about other law enforcement agencies.  It is always interesting seeing how other agencies are set up, their history, what their various units are, what their special responsibilities are, etc.  In this section of my website, I will feature a patch from my collection and have a short summary about the agency that the patch represents.  If the department being featured has a website, clicking on the patch will lead you to the department website.  I will attempt to update this section of my site every couple of weeks or so.

New York City Deparment of Corrections


The New York City Department of Corrections (NYCDOC) is responsible for operating New York City's correctional facilities.  Operational since 1895, the Department began housing inmates on Riker's Island in the 1930s.  Purchased in 1884 by the city, Riker's Island (also called "The Rock" by inmates) is the NYCDOC's main operational facility.  There are 10 separate jails on the 415 acre island, capable of housing over 17,000 inmates.  The Rock is also home the the Transportation Division, the K9 unit, and various service and support units.  There are several smaller jail facilities in each of the city's boroughs in addition to three hospital wards and 16 court holding facilities throughout the city
In 2004, the average daily number of inmates in custody of the NYCDOC was 13,752, with about 9,500 correctional officers and 1,400 civilian staff members employed by the department. 
Among the specialized units of the NYCDOC are:

Canine Unit - This detail employs officers with their canine partners.  These teams help search for contraband such as narcotics and weapons and also respond to incidents such as riot control and inmate escapes.
Emergency Services Unit - The ESU is the department's tactical team.  Comprised of over 110 members, this fulltime tactical team is responsible for major tactical operations within the department's jurisdiction, such as riots and inmate escapes.  The ESU has a variety of special equipment avaiable to its members and also responsed to the World Trade Center attacks on 09/11/01.
Gang Intelligence Unit - Established to help combat criminal activities of gangs inside jail facilities.  It is estimated that about 12% of inmates in the custody of the DOC are identified as known gang members, with various gangs vying for power inside the system.  The GIU works cooperatively with the New York Police Department's gang enforcement units to combat gang related crimes.