The coronavirus is rapidly spreading through the ranks of New York police officers. According to the New York Post, the NYPD has more than 300 police officers who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
In an appearance on Fox5 New York this week, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea stated that 322 members of the police department have tested positive for COVID-19, which amounted to a 36% increase in confirmed coronavirus cases from the previous day.
“These jumps are very significant,” Shea said. “What we’re seeing here is that, if you look at […] community spread, the assumption is that large portions of New York City residents and members of the workforce have been exposed.”
“We prepare for events,” Shea continued. “Every event is different, and this is certainly a unique one, but we have a good track record and we have a lot of experience in terms of working through crises.”
There have been leaked reports from inside the police department that reveal that there is a shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) and limited adherence to measures around the exposure of the virus.
Based on a report from Vanity Fair, a source from inside the department has said police officers are “annoyed they’re not getting more than one mask. They’re having to reuse the same mask over and over.”
An NYPD patrol officer said his command includes approximately 200 people. About two weeks ago, the patrol officer said each person was given a pair of blue gloves and one single-use mask in a sealed plastic case. The police officers are reusing these masks, despite the fact that they are no longer effective.
“We’re getting screwed big time,” the officer said. “Guys are getting sick left and right. Instead of getting us real cleaning supplies, they made us a vinegar solution in a spray bottle that we all share. It isn’t killing corona. I went out and bought my own supplies.”
The police commissioner also noted the number of cops taking sick time was three times the normal rate, with more than 3,237 officers out sick as of Wednesday night.