On the Beat With NYPD’s Rookie Class

Photos from Operation Impact, a program that sends untested officers into New York’s most dangerous neighborhoods.


Update: In January, 2014, Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said that he plans to no longer send rookie officers immediately into impact zones. “I think they would benefit from it, working with officers in traditional precinct assignments,” he said.

For more than seven years, the first assignment for nearly all rookie New York City police officers has been to patrol “impact zones” with the highest crime rates, often on foot and without backup. The program is credited with decreasing crime but has also been blamed for officer burnout and overly aggressive tactics. Photographer Antonio Bolfo followed a unit of new officers as they learned the ropes in high-rise public housing in the South Bronx. Bolfo, 30, says his project provided some much-needed closure: He’s a former NYPD cop who’d walked the same beat a year earlier.

Officers walk through a snowstorm in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx.

Officers walk through a snowstorm in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx.
 
A rookie officer makes her way along a narrow ledge between two office buildings. Bolfo explains that officers looking for drug dealers "sneak around the exterior of buildings because they don't want to go in the front door."

A rookie officer makes her way along a narrow ledge between two office buildings. Bolfo explains that officers looking for drug dealers “sneak around the exterior of buildings because they don’t want to go in the front door.”
 
Cop walking down a graffit-covered stairwell

Housing-project stairwells are notoriously dangerous.
 
An officer detains a suspect inside a stairwell.

An officer detains a suspect inside a stairwell.
 
Three officers listen to a colleague ask for urgent assistance over the radio—without a patrol car, they have no way to respond.

Three officers listen to a colleague ask for urgent assistance over the radio—without a patrol car, they have no way to respond.
 
An officer sheds his civilian clothes and gets into uniform.

An officer sheds his civilian clothes and gets into uniform.
 
Officers spend their dinner break on a housing project roof.

Officers spend their dinner break on a housing project roof.
 
A rookie NYPD officer looks out over the Bronx from a rooftop.

A rookie NYPD officer looks out over the Bronx.

 

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate