Number of NYPD out sick continues to rise, two school safety agents die

traffic safety
NYPD cops take precautions wearing masks during covid-19 crisis. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

The number of NYPD members reporting sick jumped to 18.5% of the department with 1,619 uniformed officers and 220 civilians testing positive for COVID-19 as of April 3.

As of April 3, a total of 6,695 officers were reported out sick, but the NYPD said they still have enough officers to cover the city as crime has dropped 4.2 percent because of the coronavirus – with the largest drops in crime occurring during the second half of March when fears ramped up in the city over the rising cases.

The NYPD has discussed using 12-hour shifts to fill in the gaps from officers being out sick, though Chief of Department Terrence Monahan said some cops are coming back from sick days and it may not be necessary.

The department also reported another two deaths in their ranks, School Safety Agent Roniece Watson, assigned to the School Safety Division, died on Monday, March 30, 2020, of complications from coronavirus. School Safety Agent Watson became a member of the NYPD on September 8, 2003.  School Safety Agent Luis Albino, assigned to the School Safety Division, died on Friday, April 3, 2020, from complications due to coronavirus. School Safety Agent Albino became a member of the NYPD on May 30, 2000. 

In addition, Auxiliary Police Officer Lynford Chambers passed away on April 2nd due to COVID-19.

Both are among seven other members of the department, including a New York City detective, who died from the coronavirus. Those deaths include Detective Cedric Dixon, SPAA Gwendolyn King, PAA Giacomina Barr-Brown, SSA Sabrina Jefferson, CA Dennis Dickson, and the last death Traffic Enforcement Agent Karisma Dargan who died on April 1.

Officers continue to visit restaurants, bars, supermarkets, salons and public spaces to remind individuals of the ban on congregating in public spaces and to practice social distancing:  On April 1, NYPD officers visited 2713 supermarkets of which 1210 were closed; 6260 bars and restaurants of which 4483 were closed; 1368 public places of which 793 were closed; 3408 personal care facilities of which 3408 were closed.  There were no arrests or summonses issued in regard to these visits.

The NYPD is being augmented in this effort by sheriffs deputies throughout the city.

@NYCPBA: “We know each other, because many of us have worked side-by-side for years on the streets and in ERs across the city. Those bonds are more important than ever. Our uniforms are different, but the mission is the same.”

Archbishop of New York

A statement sent by Cardinal Dolan to the NYPD read as follows:

“They’re telling all of us to stay put, to stay in, to stay secluded, but not you men and women. You’re out there, you have to be with the folks, you have to protect us, you’re walking the beat, you’re driving the streets, and you’re right in the thick of things as usual. When we see you, we know we’re a little safer, we know we have a friend out there, we know somebody who puts our lives even before their own. So believe me when I say I’m grateful to you. The other day we had a teleconference call with religious leaders in the city and Commissioner Shea came on and thanked us, and I’d like to return that sentiment to you Commissioner and to all of the men and women who serve so selflessly in the New York City Police Department. We’re grateful to you, you’re a great example for us, and I love you more than ever. I respect you, I appreciate you, and I’m going to stay close to you. God Bless.”