More than 4,000 NYPD members call out sick; 550 test positive for coronavirus

Billie Rama
March 27, 2020 - 3:16 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The coronavirus outbreak is hitting the New York Police Department hard.

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More than 4,000 members of the NYPD called out sick on Friday, with 550 members testing positive for COVID-19, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

The jump in cases is up significantly from 211 the day before.

The NYPD lost one of its members to coronavirus. City Custodial Assistant Dennis Dickson has passed away from complications related to the coronavirus, Shea said on Thursday.

NYPD intelligence chief John Miller has been admitted to Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side with coronavirus-like symptoms. 

The NYPD has still been able to cover all shifts, Shea added.

"The department is "definitely taking a hit," the commissioner told 1010 WINS earlier this week.

"What we're seeing internally as an agency on the front lines is, we are still on an upward climb," Shea said.

The NYPD says officers are being provided with gloves, masks, alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer.

"As part of the response to the Coronavirus outbreak, the NYPD is continuing citywide patrols to monitor locations and educate members of the public on safe social distancing," the NYPD tweeted. "Officers are continuing to visit restaurants, bars, supermarkets, salons and public spaces...."

Officers will be patroling to remind individuals of the ban on congregating in public spaces and to practice social distancing, Shea said. "These patrols continue to demonstrate the incredible cooperation by New Yorkers in undertaking the shared responsibility of social distancing and stopping the spread of the virus."

Shea says people for the most part, residents have been good about social distancing. Most of what you see on the streets on New York City is to the point of desertion, he explained.

There will be cases where the police will have to break up groups or crowds that may gather but says having officers issue a summons is the "very last thing" he wants.

"The very last thing I would want the men and women in the police department is becoming the morality police," Shea adds.