NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- The head of the NYPD should “immediately enforce” a face covering requirement for his officers, a Manhattan politician said Tuesday.
State Senator Brad Hoylman on Tuesday sent a letter to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea saying “numerous” constituents have complained to him about NYPD officers refusing to wear masks.
Hoylman himself has seen officers without face coverings a number of times, he said. An executive order Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued in April requires mask use in places where social distancing isn’t possible.
“I know you agree that the NYPD has a unique responsibility to model lawful and prudent behavior, which has only become more important during the current public health crisis,” Hoylman wrote. “I urge you to enforce the face covering mandate within your ranks to both set a good example for New Yorkers and protect public health.”
At least 43 NYPD officers have died of complications related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, he noted.
Responding to a request for comment on Hoylman’s letter, the NYPD referred 1010 WINS to an interview in which Shea was asked about "a fair amount of police officers (in New York City) who refuse to wear any type of mask.”
“Yeah, I don’t know if I would say ‘a fair.’ I mean we certainly have had occasions…. We are human,” Shea responded. “And you know, we are New York City, and where you see people of any occupation, certainly I’m not condoning it, we constantly remind people, we give (masks) out, we educate people about the importance, and when we see issues of people not wearing them, we make sure that they put them on.”
“As I’ve said, whether it’s police officers or anyone else, we’ve got to be smart, we’ve got to take care of each other,” he added.