NYPD commissioner on losing five members to coronavirus: 'We don't really even have time to mourn'

Mar 31, 2020

NYPD commissioner on losing five members to coronavirus: 'We don't really even have time to mourn'

New York (USA) March 31: New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea joined "The Story" Monday to discuss the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the force after a uniformed officer and four civilian members succumbed to the virus.
"Five members of the family ... it's a very difficult time for the New York City Police Department," Shea said.
"Any time we lose someone, it's difficult. This is a very surreal feeling. We pride ourselves in taking care of our family and we're in a situation right now where we don't really even have time to mourn. It's every man and every woman stepping in and trying to get a mission done. And we will mourn, but it won't be today. There is just too much work to do."
With the Big Apple now the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., the NYPD said it was dealing with a surge of officers calling out sick, with more than 1,140 officers testing positive for the virus. Despite the growing number, Shea insisted that his members were "well-positioned in terms of protective equipment."
"It's an invisible enemy we are fighting here," he said. "It has a lot of people nervous. I can tell you that the safety of the men and women of this police department is the first thing that I think about when I wake up and it's the last thing I think about when I go to sleep at night. Not just that. It's their families as well."
Shea reiterated there are "many, many systems in place in terms of replenishing" protective equipment, but the department remains fully stocked for the time being.
"Messaging that back and forth to the men and women of the police department is the utmost importance to me ... but it really is an ongoing process in terms of making sure that they have everything that they need from ... Tyvek suits, to goggles, to masks, to gloves, to hand sanitizer ... all of it. We do have it on hand. How much do we have on hand? How long will it last? That's the unknown in this because nobody can really put their finger on how long this will last."
Asked to address concerns of civil unrest with close to 14 percent of the police force out sick, Shea said it was "all hands on deck," but noted a drop in crime due to social distancing.
"I know from the outside, you may have those questions but I am a hundred percent confident that the men and women of this police department will rise up to any and all challenges to do whatever it takes to keep the people of this city safe," he said. "I have absolutely no doubt about it."
Shea added, "The good news here is one of the reasons we are able to do so many things with so many people out is that we have seen a dropoff in people on the street. I would say 99 percent ... of the time people are heeding the instructions and knowing this isn't a first-line police officer's and nurse's fight. This is all New Yorkers joining together.
"By and large what you are seeing is empty streets, empty parks ... people [are] staying home and we really thank the people of New York for doing that and we need them to do it just a little bit longer to help us on this."
Source: Fox News