NYPD Motto

New York — The New York Police Department will no longer display the slogan “Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect” on its patrol cars. The department decided to drop the motto, which was adopted decades ago to improve community relations, in favor of a new crime-focused message.

Instead, all new NYPD patrol vehicles will now feature a decal that reads: “Fighting Crime, Protecting The Public.”

A police spokesperson stated that the long-standing “CPR” slogan will be gradually phased out as the department updates its fleet. The new crime-focused messaging will eventually adorn the rear windows of approximately 10,000 patrol cars. The spokesperson did not provide details regarding the reason for the change, which was reported by Gothamist.

The “Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect” tagline first appeared on the sides of patrol cars in 1996. It was displayed in a stacked and italicized red-and-white font as part of a public relations and training campaign initiated under Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

This effort included sting operations to identify and discipline rude officers and televised public service announcements highlighting the department’s commitment to a friendlier, less confrontational police force. One department poster at that time reportedly stated: “Everybody in New York; Black, White, Yellow or Blue Could Use a Little C.P.R.”

While this initiative was met with approval from some New Yorkers, the motto was also widely ridiculed and reinterpreted by police critics. After a white NYPD officer was accused of sodomizing a Black man, Abner Louima, within a Brooklyn precinct station in 1997, protesters carried signs displaying the slogan as “Criminals, Perverts, Racists.”

The introduction of the new slogan follows the department’s announcement last year that it would be modernizing its classic blue-and-white cruisers for the first time in decades. The exteriors of the new vehicles feature the green-and-white striped livery and a QR code allowing individuals to submit performance ratings to the department.

Some of the new cars also include a different decal — “Protecting NYC since 1845” — which was unveiled by the previous NYPD commissioner, Keechant Sewell. A police spokesperson did not confirm whether these decals would be replaced by the newer ones.

Although the department has long been associated with “Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect,” the NYPD maintains a separate official motto: “Fidelis Ad Mortem,” a Latin phrase translating to “Faithful Unto Death.”