NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said Tuesday that the number of officers sent home for not complying with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate has increased, but remained under 1% of all sworn officers on duty.
During an appearance on NY1, Shea said that the number of officers sent home without pay increased Monday from 34 to 89 officers, but that has not had any effect on service. He said he was confident he had enough officers to patrol the city.
“We want all officers back to work, but for New Yorkers, there’s no impact to public safety and we’ll keep moving,” Shea said.
The NYPD’s vaccination rate Monday was at 85%, and Shea said he expects the number to increase slightly as more officers returned to work Tuesday.
Speaking Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the vaccination rate for the city’s municipal workforce has risen to 92%.
Firefighters had a vaccination rate of 77%, while the rate for FDNY EMTs and medics was 88% as of 5 p.m. Monday, according to figures provided by the city. The rate for New York City sanitation workers was 83%.
About 2,300 FDNY members called out sick and most of those were inappropriately using sick days to protest the mayor’s mandate, FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said Monday.
But during his appearance on NY1, Shea pushed back against questions that NYPD employees were doing the same after de Blasio threatened to take action against the FDNY.
The NYPD saw between 2% and 3% of officers and staff call out sick Monday, which is consistent with usual sick calls, he said. The department saw 4% of officers call out sick last month and that number has spiked to 5% with continued positive COVID-19 cases, Shea said.
“The number is negligible and includes uniform and civilians,” Shea said. “We’re watching it closely and respond to calls, but there’s not much movement.”
The department has also had 6,000 officers and staff file for health and religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate, which are being reviewed.
“People have the right to put in and have the right to be treated seriously. The priority in my view is New Yorkers are safe,” Shea said. “I’m trying to urge members to get vaccinated and keep the workforce safe.”
With Matthew Chayes