Thousands of NYPD officers out sick amid coronavirus crisis


By ERIN DURKIN
A NYPD patrol car | AP Photo
A NYPD patrol car | AP Photo
NEW YORK — Thousands of NYPD officers have called in sick as the police department is hit with a growing number of coronavirus infections.
About 3,200 cops are out sick Wednesday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said — triple the normal rate. That adds up to almost 9 percent of the force.
“Backup plans are already underway,” Shea said in an appearance on MSNBC. “We are making adjustments. We are back filling patrols when we need to.”
As of Tuesday night, 177 uniformed officers and another 34 civilian NYPD employees tested positive for the coronavirus. Shea said that number has spiked further, but the department did not immediately have an updated figure.
Not all sick officers have been tested for the coronavirus.
“Has every member of the New York City Police Department been tested? I think that would be unrealistic,” Shea said, encouraging sick officers to stay home.
Police have stepped up patrols to enforce business shutdowns and rules banning people from gathering under a statewide shutdown order.
The vast majority of businesses checked have followed orders to shut down, Shea said. And serious crimes are down 17 percent so far this week compared to the same time last year.
“We’re doing thousands and thousands of inspections every day,” he said. “The majority of New Yorkers recognize that we’re in unprecedented times. They’re responding accordingly.”
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March 25, 2020
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