Only 34 NYPD cops on unpaid leave over vax; resignations rose in October

Others remain on the job while waiting to see if their exemptions will be approved

By John Annese
New York Daily News

NEW YORK — Just 34 NYPD officers were placed on unpaid leave Monday morning for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine — a surprisingly low figure — though the number of officers who quit, even if they weren’t eligible for a full pension, spiked in the days ahead of the city’s vaccine mandate.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced Monday 34 officers and 40 civilian members of the NYPD were placed on unpaid leave; thousands more remained on the job awaiting word on whether they’ll get “reasonable accommodation” exemptions.

“I would remind people that’s 34 out of (a) roughly 35,000 workforce,” Shea said at a press conference with Mayor de Blasio. “That’s very fluid, that could go up as the day goes on, it could also go down as people get their vaccinations status.’

As of Monday morning, 85% of the NYPD got the jab, Shea said.

“With that remaining 15% it’s very important to remember that there is a process where people can request reasonable accommodations for religious or medical reasons,” he said. “And that’s the vast majority of that 15%.”

As for cops quitting or retiring, sources said 58 officers with less than 20 years, but more than five on the job, vested their pensions and quit in October compared with 11 in October 2020. Another 105 officers resigned without vesting their pensions in October compared with 33 in October 2020.

The NYPD saw very little change in the number of full retirements last month — 118 compared with 114 last year, sources said.

But that number doesn’t tell the full story, since the department saw a wave of retirements in 2020 in the aftermath of the George Floyd protests. In September 2020, the NYPD saw 196 retirements, and that number dropped to 69 in September 2021.

The NYPD hosted a retirement event at its One Police Plaza headquarters in Downtown Manhattan over the weekend expecting a surge of retirements over the vaccine mandate.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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