NEW YORK – The NYPD is suffering at astronomical levels during the coronavirus pandemic.
Currently, 4600 officers are out on sick leave while close to 1000 NYPD officers have tested positive with COVID-19.
The first officer of NYPD officer to die from the COVID-19 illness was announced Saturday.
Detective Cedric G. Dixon, 48, served in the 32nd Precinct in Harlem and was a 22 year veteran of the agency.
“We are hurting, we are crying, and we continue to fight,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on Saturday.
“We simply have no other choice. It is in our heart, and it is in our soul to sacrifice to serve to fight for you.”
There’s no word on how Dixon contracted the virus.
Two other civilian workers within the NYPD died earlier this week.
Giacomina Barr-Brown, a civilian administrative aide in the 49th Precinct, and Dennis Dickson, a custodian who had worked with the NYPD since 2006.
“We have lost three members of our family in a little over 48 hours,” said Shea. “As I stand here I cannot begin to describe what we are feeling, what the families of these three heroes are feeling.”
Travis Yates, a Commander in Oklahoma, that authored, “The Courageous Police Leader” and is a national trainer and consultant with SAFETAC Training, told a radio host this morning that while law enforcement is ready and prepared for the enemy each day that looks to cause harm, what the profession is experiencing at this time is unprecedented.
“This is a hidden enemy and it could be anywhere at anytime but despite that you see first responders getting up everyday and facing it head on,” Yates said.
The Officer Down Memorial Page has established criteria for line of duty deaths that may be linked to COVID-19.
According to ODMP, “Any law enforcement officer who dies as a result of any health related cause (illness, disease, infection, etc.) that is a direct result of the officer’s law enforcement duties.”
Due to the complex and unique nature of each incident, ODMP says that it will take “much longer than normal to make a line of duty death determination due to illnesses such as COVID-19.”