CLICK TO SHARE
New York (Reuters) - When nine police officers showed up to make an arrest near Melrose Avenue in the Bronx last Wednesday, none wore a mask or gloves to protect them from coronavirus.
Similar scenes play out all over the city daily: officers making arrests, walking their beats and responding to 911 calls without protective gear, according to interviews with nearly two dozen New York City officers and scenes witnessed by Reuters.
As of Sunday, 818 members of the nation’s biggest police force had tested positive for coronavirus, including 730 uniformed officers and 88 civilian staffers, according to NYPD. The department said about 5,000 of its 55,000 total employees are on sick leave.
Major city departments nationwide, such as Houston and Detroit, are being forced to sideline officers as infections rise in the ranks, according to a Reuters survey of the nation’s 20 largest U.S. police agencies conducted between March 25 and March 29. The police agencies have confirmed 1,012 cases of COVID-19 among officers or civilian staff, according to the survey and a Reuters review of the departments’ public statements.
The pandemic has depleted police forces already strained by staffing shortages. Many departments have told officers to limit their interactions with the public and maintain social distancing. Some agencies are re-assigning detectives and administrative staff to help respond to emergencies as more patrol officers get sick, which requires pulling the investigators away from major cases.
If you don't see any comments yet, congrats! You get first comment. Be nice and have fun.
CLICK TO SHARE