A third New York Police Department employee has died from the coronavirus, CNN reports. Along with a rising number of deaths, the police department is reporting that almost 700 NYPD employees have tested positive for the virus. The officer, Detective Cedric Dixon, worked at the 32nd Precinct in Harlem. The other two confirmed deaths are Dennis C. Dickson, a custodian who worked at police headquarters, and Giacomina Barr-Brown, a civilian who worked in the 49th Precinct Roll Call Office.
CNN also reported on a NYPD statement from this past Saturday that revealed that at least 11 percent of all NYPD employees called out sick last Friday. That’s roughly 4,122 employees, the NYPD report said.
“‘The city that never sleeps’ is slumbering a little bit right now, but it’s definitely not sleeping and there are still quite a lot of things going on throughout the city,” Commissioner Dermot Shea told WCBS Newsradio 880 on Friday. “Men and women of the New York Police Department are stepping up, they’re here for you, they’re out there putting themselves — uniform and civilian — at risk to keep you safe. It’s a struggle and we’re pulling from different parts of the department, but we are very well resourced.”
Those working for the NYPD are reported to have access to gloves, masks, alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer. CNN also reports that any NYPD employee who feels sick is encouraged to stay home.
The NYPD have been stepping up to help try and reduce teh spread of COVID-19. A new order that went into effect on Monday has resulted in the NYPD handing out fines for those who refuse to socially distance themselves. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said that those who refuse to comply with offer orders to disband, or those who reunite after the officer has left, will be subject to fines anywhere from $250 to $500.
“They’re going to give people every chance to listen, and if anyone doesn’t listen, then they deserve a fine at this point,” de Blasio said in a press conference. “I don’t want to fine people when so many folks are going through economic distress, but if they haven’t gotten the message by now, and they don’t get the message when an enforcement officer’s staring them in the face … that person then deserves the fine, so we’re going to proceed with that.”