60th NYPD officer dies of COVID

The NYPD reached a grim milestone Friday


By Rocco Parascandola
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — The NYPD reached a grim milestone Friday as the department’s 60th member died from COVID, police said.

Officer Sony Clerge died Friday morning, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a memo to his officers.

In this Oct. 5, 2020, file photo, NYPD officers stand during a service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York to honor colleagues who have died due to COVID-19 related illness.
In this Oct. 5, 2020, file photo, NYPD officers stand during a service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York to honor colleagues who have died due to COVID-19 related illness. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

“Fluent in French and Creole, Sony worked his entire 19-year career assigned to Transit Borough Manhattan Task Force, where his efforts helped make our city’s subway system a safer, more hospitable place for millions of riders,” Shea wrote.

Clerge is the third member of the NYPD to die from COVID complications in recent days. School crossing guard Pauline Soto died Monday, and Detective Shantay Neal-Baker died last Saturday, according to police.

NYPD personnel who have died of COVID include police officers and detectives, civilian employees, auxiliary volunteers, school and traffic safety officers and crossing guards.

Shea has mandated that officers must wear masks at all times unless they can provide proof that they’ve gotten the COVID vaccine to the department’s medical division.

“Members who do not have official proof of COVID-19 vaccination on file with the Medical Division must wear a face covering at all times while working, whether indoors or outside, including while driving in Department vehicles,” the mandated stated.

Only about 47% of NYPD employees are vaccinated, officials said.

©2021 New York Daily News. Visit nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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