NYPD expanding duties to help prevent spread of COVID-19
NEW YORK - While most people are being told to stay home and have as little contact as possible with others, members of the NYPD are still out on the streets to protect the public from crime and now coronavirus exposure.
“Besides handling the normal 9-1-1 volume that comes in every single day, they’re going out there informing people, letting them know not to gather in large groups, keep social distancing,” said NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan.
Patrol officers also have additional enforcement duties besides fighting crime.
“We’re out there visiting all the bars and restaurants to make sure they’re complying with the executive order, we’re warning them if they’re not, making sure they’re informed as to what they need to do,” Monahan said.
In order to minimize exposure risks, officers are using a new procedure for arrests.
“If that prisoner is exhibiting any flu-like symptoms… we don’t want them going back to the station house. We have set up separate courts that they can go to, one in Red Hook, one in Manhattan,” Monahan said.
Suspects will also undergo a medical evaluation.
According to Monahan, police officers are having just as much trouble as the rest of the public getting tested for the virus. Monahan says that they are working on a central location at the Aqueduct Raceway for all first responders to get tested.