The NYPD announced this morning the death of an NYPD detective out of the Bronx, making him the third member of the department to die from COVID-19.
Detective Cedric Dixon, 48, from the 32nd Precinct, apparently died early this morning in North Central Bronx Hospital from the virus. He is a 23-year veteran of the department, according to police officials.
Commissioner Dermot Shea held a video news conference at One Police Plaza shortly before 1 p.m. to announce the latest death among his officers. He said there were now more than 4,000 members of the department reported sick, and 540 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among New York’s Finest.
Shea said most of those suffering the most from COVID-19 are those with “particular vulnerabilities,” though he wouldn’t give specifics about any of those who have died thus far.
Dixon is now the third death in the department, including One Police Plaza custodian Dennis Dixon and Police Administrative Aide Jocamina Barr Brown.
Shea said Detective Dixon was especially adept at fixing broken electronic gear and technology and was “always willing to help people.”
“I can’t describe what we are feeling,” Shea said. “Our hearts go out to the families of three. We are hurting, crying and continue to fight because there is simply no other choice. In our heart and soul is to sacrifice and serve and fight for you.”
Shea said they have taken steps to minimize risks, but he said that it is not always possible to isolate.
“We go into danger and everyone in the NYPD, we thank you for your service because you represent everything that is right in the world,” he said. “We thank you the public for the stream of support. We will emerge from this crisis, but we will never forget the sacrifice of those workers who put themselves in harms way to keep you and your families safe.”
Shea made the announcement on both Facebook Live and Twitter.
Detective Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, added his praise of Detective Dixon.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Detective Dixon,” DiGiacomo said in a statement. “We are first responders and we have a higher exposure rate and we are doing the best job we can. He exemplifies our detectives are who are the greatest in the world.”
Shea said that while 4,100 members of the NYPD were reported out sick, some are already returning to work, having already made it through the virus. Many others are expected to return to work soon.
The department has not yet decided to have 12-hours shifts to make up for the lost manpower. Shea said patrols have been reinforced from other divisions including narcotics units now working patrol.
The commissioner added protective gear is still in plentiful supply for the department and expects to increase gear soon.
Shea urged residents to stay in their homes and “do not go out unless necessary.”
There have been 52,318 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York State and 728 deaths in the state to date. Four new medical facilities were being put together by the federal government and the hospital ship will be arriving in New York Harbor on Monday.