Federal prosecutors are investigating the NYPD’s sexual assault crimes unit to determine whether it engaged in “gender-biased policing,” the Justice Department announced Thursday.

The probe of the police department’s Special Victims Division “will include a comprehensive review of the policies, procedures, and training for SVD investigations of sexual assault crimes,” according to a release.

“Based on information provided to the Justice Department, we find significant justification to investigate whether the NYPD’s Special Victims Division engages in a pattern or practice of gender-biased policing,” Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.

Prosecutors from that division as well as the U.S. Attorneys for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York are launching the probe, based on allegations they say date back further than a decade — including claims that unit officers have been “failing to conduct basic investigative steps and instead shaming and abusing survivors and re-traumatizing them during investigations."

Prosecutors will examine how the department engages with both survivors and witnesses, as well as their evidence-gathering practices and completion of investigations.

They will also be investigating “any steps NYPD has taken to address deficiencies in its handling of sexual assault crimes,” and its distribution of staffing and support offered to sexual assault survivors.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell have pledged to cooperate with the investigation, according to the Justice Department.

"There is no higher priority for law enforcement than ensuring that victims of sexual assault get the justice they deserve and the care, support, and treatment they need," Adams spokesperson Maxwell Young said in a written statement. "We welcome this review, will cooperate fully in this investigation, and will continue to take all steps necessary to ensure we fix problems that have been decades in the making."

Young said the administration had already begun to examine the unit's operations, including the appointment of a new commanding officer.

The NYPD also pledged to cooperate with the investigation and highlighted actions it's taken so far in the first six months of the new administration.

"Our goal is for SVD to be the national model," NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said in a written statement. "I believe any constructive review of our practices in the Special Victims Division will show that the NYPD has been evolving and improving in this area but we will be transparent and open to criticism as well as ideas in the process.”

The department pointed out that in May it posted the results of an independent review by the Research Triangle Institute which drew from a team of law enforcement experts, survivors and advocates in assessing where the SVD was improving and where it was falling short. The agency said it has added new personnel and implemented new training procedures, but would welcome additional review by the DOJ.

Samantha Max contributed reporting.

This story has been updated with additional comment.