Failures in the communication system also hindered the activities of the police. The radios refused to work around the World Trade Center, and what communication systems did work were soon overwhelmed by traffic. Police and others had to use cell phones to call family members and establish communications.
Casualties, lower among police than among the firefighters, were nevertheless high. Police lost 23 officers, including 1 woman. This loss paled beside that of the firefighters of the FDNY, but police losses were severe enough to cause a crisis of confidence. A demoralized police force had to be returned to normal police duties, a task that was the responsibility of Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik—who was generally successful. Kerik left office in January 2002, leaving much still to be done to reestablish the morale of the members of the NYPD. Later, when the 9/11 Commission questioned New York firefighters and police about their conduct on September 11, Kerik and the police became defensive, charging that the commission was unfairly second-guessing their actions.
Stephen E. Atkins
Smith, Dennis. Report from Ground Zero. New York: Viking, 2002; Harris, John, and Snodin, Michael, eds. Sir William Chambers, Architect to George III. New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, 1996; Lance, Peter. 1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI; The Untold Story. New York: ReganBooks, 2003; O'Shaughnessy, Patrice. "Painful Days for Cops Who Won't Give Up." Daily News [New York], December 16, 2001, 28.