Traffic Squad Benevolent Association
of the New York City Police Department
The Traffic Squad Benevolent Association (TSBA) is the oldest fraternal organization in the New York City Police Department. Founded in 1906 and officially organized on December 11th, 1908 the TSBA originally consisted of officers assigned to the Mounted Unit, and the then Bicycle-Traffic Squad, officer’s duties were many but included using their bicycle or horse to chase and catch runaway horses, a significant cause of pedestrian fatalities at the turn of the century. Additionally, with automobile use quickly on the rise, officers were tasked with enforcing the city’s newly enacted Traffic Regulations. On foot, bicycles and horses these officers brought some semblance of order to the then extremely chaotic city streets.
Today, despite the fact that nearly every intersection in Manhattan has a traffic signal, the men and women assigned to traffic remain an irreplaceable element of New York City’s traffic solution. Although, with the exception of runaway horses, today’s Traffic Squad Members perform virtually the same functions as our founders did nearly a century ago. Membership is mostly comprised of men and women from the Manhattan Traffic Task Force, Highway Patrol, Mounted Unit, as well as Members from the remaining Traffic Control Division subunits, and yes, this included the Parking Enforcement District. We also offer an associate membership for members outside the department who have an interest in traffic safety/engineering.
Recently there has been a renewed interest in the squad. Although not assigned to the Traffic Control Division, each of the city’s seventy-six precincts is required to have a traffic safety team. This team various in size but includes at least one full time traffic safety officer, some of these officers have expressed an interest in joining the TSBA. Our membership has always been open to all members of the service, and obviously those who specialize in traffic safety would be a welcome addition to our ranks. Hopefully, with the addition of the Traffic Safety Officers Section in our quarterly newsletter, as well as the frequent traffic topic emails, these new members will find a forum to share ideas and opinions that may not be easily disseminated at traffic stat.
Currently, in addition to promoting camaraderie and fraternalism, the Traffic Squad’s Goals are simple: to assist both members and the public in developing a better appreciation for the very difficult job of the traffic enforcement officer or agent. Although there are many other fraternal organizations worthy of your membership, most are based on race, ethnicity or religion. While you may find one or more of these organizations of interest, we hope you can appreciate the simpler, perhaps less ideological link we offer. At the Traffic Squad we have one simple connection: We move traffic, we move people, and we protect lives; all can belong, and all can benefit. Become a part of a great tradition that dates back to 1906 join the TSBA today.