Report: NYPD instructs officers to wear masks or face discipline

The report said disciplinary action could be passed-down if the New York state mandate to wear face coverings when social distancing is not maintained


Joseph Ostapiuk
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — NYPD officials instructed officers to wear masks in public in a series of memos issued on Friday, the New York Times reported.

The report said disciplinary action could be passed-down if the New York state mandate to wear face coverings when social distancing is not maintained.

The directive was sent to officers after elected officials, including state Senator Brad Holyman and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, criticized the department for setting a bad example concerning the mask-wearing mandate it is responsible for enforcing, the New York Post reported.

In a video sent to officers, Terence Monahan, the NYPD’s chief of department, said officers should wear masks in public areas, department facilities and where they cannot be socially distanced, the Times report said.

“It is our responsibility to set the example for our great city and do everything we can to help ensure that we do not have another hospitalized member bring this deadly infection into our homes or have another funeral,” he said.

Another memo sent to officers added that the requirements applied to shared offices, elevators, halls and bathrooms, and at all times in the first 14 days of an officer’s return from places with a travel advisory, the New York Times report said, though exceptions would be made when officers were eating, drinking, adjusting their masks or having difficulty breathing.

The shift to stricter measures undertaken by the department also comes as Cuomo announced Sunday that New York state would begin to increase its enforcement of coronavirus rules in hot spot zip codes across New York City.

The NYPD was heavily affected by the coronavirus. At the height of the outbreak in the city, one in five NYPD officers were on sick report, the Advance/SILive.com previously reported. Over 40 members of the department succumbed to the disease.

©2020 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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