NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - This newly published coffee table book NYPD: Behind the Scenes with the Men and Women of the New York City Police Department presents glossy photographs of New York's Finest in varying aspects of a day at work. The award-winning photojournalist Mark Condren of Dublin, Ireland, took all the pictures.
"For me as a photographer, sometimes it can be quite dangerous if I start to jump in with cameras so I know when to go in and I know when to pull back," he said.
Condren spent two years embedded with the department capturing striking details of their jobs, like chasing a fleeing subject in East New York, Brooklyn, plainclothes detectives trying to execute a search warrant in Queens, or making an arrest in the still of the night.
But his lens also captured the lighter moments on the force. One of the best examples is a picture taken when Officer Zeeshan Taqi and his partner stopped into Front Street Pizza in Dumbo, Brooklyn, to grab a slice.
"We just happened to be in the area that day, and the photographer just snapped it and it came out really nice," Taqi said. "Front Street Pizza is like an institution. we're always in there."
Indeed, Front Street has been a family-run business popular with cops for three decades. The photo includes the hard-to-miss smiling face of co-owner Larry Leonardi. When we showed him the book, it was the first time he'd seen the picture.
"It's great! Just talking about good times. You know, just everyday things," he said. "What they do every day, what we do every day. We serve the public, they protect the public."
Capt. Ken Perez, the commanding officer of the 84th Precinct, said the department is proud that the pictures show how engaged the NYPD is in city neighborhoods.
"Building that trust with everyone in this area is beneficial to them and to the Police Department," he said.
Perez himself was photographed during one of the NYPD's CompStat meetings.
"Today's the first time I saw it—nice candid photo," he said. "I'm glad they got my good side."
Condren said he believes he was able to capture all sides of the NYPD and admitted that some of his own perceptions were changed in the process.
"You think it's going to be gun crime all the time and it's not like that at all," he said. And it's a really, really safe city. I personally felt safe all the time."