NYPD 24/7, a new true-life documentary series from ABC News, gives an up-close look at the day-to-day life of the New York Police Department.
ABC News' cameras were given unprecedented access to the closed ranks for 16 months, following some of the 37,000 men and women who make the NYPD the largest police force in the nation.
The series follows the detectives of the Homicide, Special Victims and Crime Scene units as they use their skills to solve baffling crimes — from the bizarre case of a man found boiled to death in a manhole to the capture of a serial rapist who thought he'd never be caught.
The series also chronicles the daring work of skilled rescue units, including one engaged in a high-wire act to save a man's life.
ABC News cameras then go from the street to the executive suite, following both a Bronx beat cop — a mother on patrol in one of the city's most violent neighborhoods — and her ultimate boss, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who tries to calm a jittery city on high alert for a terrorist attack.
Along the way, the fault lines of a city are revealed: Great extremes of wealth and poverty divide a demanding public that treats its cops with both admiration and contempt. In one Brooklyn neighborhood, racial tensions boil when residents say police didn't act soon enough to find a missing African-American woman.
"Join the fire department if you want to be a hero," says one cop.
NYPD 24/7 also provides a telling look at the culture inside the department, where officers are well-schooled in the race- and gender-blind etiquette of the modern cop, yet old myths persist and women cops have to go the extra mile to prove themselves.