NYPD Desi Society Records

Date Range: 20062010
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2010-10-15
Creator: NYPD Desi Society

History: The NYPD Desi Society, the first South Asian American fraternal law enforcement organization in the United States, was formed at the gathering of about seventy South Asian American NYPD Police Officers on January 20, 2004. The organization was incorporated on November 4, 2004 to help improve mutual understanding between the NYPD and South Asian communities, increase the number of South Asian American officers in the NYPD, support NYPD officers of South Asian descent, and promote ethnic and racial tolerance within the NYPD. In 2006, the NYPD recognized the organization, and in 2008 the NYPD Desi Society was admitted as a member organization of the Police Society.

As the number of graduating South Asian American cadets has grown over the past twenty years (in 1998 there were 4 South Asian American graduates in a cadet class of 2,500 and in 2010 there will 25 in a class of 2,000), the NYPD Desi Society has expanded. Presently, the organization is comprised of approximately 200 members who claim Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Caribbean heritage.

Among the events that the NYPD Desi Society organizes, or participates in, are an annual scholarship dinner, a family picnic, and annual holiday party. The organization’s members also march in parades such as the New York Pakistan Day Parade and the Queens Pagwah Parade. In addition, the NYPD Desi Society regularly collaborates with other NYPD Asian American fraternal organizations including the Korean American Officers Association and the pan-Asian American Jade Society in a variety of projects. In 2009, all three organizations helped to plan “Asian Heritage Day,” a public event hosted by the NYPD in lower Manhattan.

In addition to planning social and cultural events, the NYPD Society has advocated on behalf of officers who have been victims of racial profiling, which has become more prevalent since the events of September 11, 2001, by assisting them in speaking to the Police Commissioner or acquiring legal representation when necessary.

Sources: NYPD Desi Society. 2010. “History.”

Chandu, Mahaan. 2010. Interview by Daniel Kim and Amita Manghnani. New York, NY, October 15.

“Desi Society now official NYPD organization.” 2006. Indo Asian News Service, December 19, 2006.

Joseph, George. 2010.“NYPD gets first Indian-American captain.” India Abroad, July 19, 2007. Accessed February 4, 2015. http://www.rediff.com/news/2007/jul/19nypd.htm.

NYPD Desi Society, Inc. 2006. “Certificate of Incorporation of NYPD Desi Society, Inc.”

Summary: The NYPD Desi Society Records total 0.45 linear feet and span the years from 2006 to 2010, documenting the society’s founding, membership, and events through newspaper clippings, programs, correspondence, photographs, and paper ephemera.

The society’s founding documents include its 2006 application to be recognized as an official NYPD fraternal organization and a 2008 petition to join the Committee of Police Societies (COPS). Also contained are the NYPD Desi Society’s certificate of incorporation, bylaws, charters, membership cards (2007-10), and member rosters.

Applications to march in various ethnic and religious parades (such as the 2008 Pakistan Day Parade and 2009 Phagwah Parade), flyers announcing the formation of an NYPD cricket league (2010), and applications to the Commissioner to organize a family picnic (2010) comprise the society’s event records. Also included are programs and photographs from the 2009 Asian Heritage Celebration, 2009 Spring Formal, and 2010 Scholarship Dinner.

Publications maintained in the records include 2009 issues of the official NYPD publication Spring 3100, which features coverage of NYPD Desi Society members, and an issue of India Abroad announcing the formation of the NYPD Desi Society. Of particular interest is a 2007 newspaper clipping from the New York Daily News about the profiling of a South Asian NYPD officer by U.S. air marshals.

The NYPD Desi Society’s display case at the NYPD Police Academy contains a framed New York Daily News article about the society’s establishment; letters of congratulation from New York City Comptroller (and former City Councilor) John Liu, U.S. Congressman Joseph Crowley, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; a document on the society’s history; and an American flag brought back from Camp Phoenix by NYPD Desi Society members who served in the war in Afghanistan.

Total Size: 0.45 linear feet
APA-related Size: 0.45 linear feet
Languages of materials: English
Location: Private residence
Bibliographic Control: other
Conditions Governing Access: Researchers wishing to view the materials should contact the NYPD Desi Society.

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