Metro

80% of NYPD cops are vaccinated, Commissioner Shea says

More than a thousand members of the NYPD were jabbed Thursday — as the deadline closed in for unvaccinated city workers to get the shot or be forced out on unpaid leave, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Friday. 

The latest doses brought the NYPD’s vaccination rate up to 80 percent, the top cop said on FOX 5’s “Good Day New York” — only hours before the 5 p.m. deadline for city workers to earn a $500 bonus for getting their first jab.

“From the police department perspective, we’re going to be OK. We have contingency plans. Those plans are being actually scaled down in terms of, you know, what percentage are we at? How would we address it to keep the cops on the street rolling?” he said.

Contingency plans include reassigning personnel who are not normally on patrol, and suspending training temporarily — a move that “frees up additional bodies,” Shea said. 

“That’s before overtime is used,” he said. “That’s before tours are extended, which I really feel like I want to avoid that — it’s real tough on the family life for these officers and civilians.”

A member of the New York Police Department gets vaccinated
The latest doses on October 28 brought the NYPD’s vaccination rate up to 80 percent.
Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Shea also addressed backlash from Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch, who said the vaccination mandate “sets the city up for a real crisis.”

“There’s a lot of people certainly unhappy with how this rolled out and the speed,” the top cop said in a separate interview on 1010 WINS. “You know, there’s collective bargaining going on, there’s issues of that nature.”

“You know, the important thing is here, the cops are showing up, they’re getting the vaccines,” he added. “We’ll be working around the clock, right through the weekend to make sure that any adjustments we have to make, we do. We don’t want to see anyone go without a day’s pay — that’s for sure.” 

Meanwhile, the NYPD is preparing for a slew of retirements amid the vaccine mandate. 

Municipal workers of the city march across Brooklyn bridge and rally at City Hall Park against vaccination mandate
Shea said “we have contingency plans” in preparation for some cops remaining unvaccinated.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Police officials have reserved the auditorium at 1 Police Plaza on Friday for the NYC Police Pension Fund to process retirement paperwork for cops with at least 20 years on the job, according to a pair of administrative bulletins sent out to the workforce Thursday.

Those without 20 years on the job who wish to resign are being told to arrive at the auditorium at police headquarters on Saturday in four separate groups, read a third memo sent out Thursday.

“This is to assist members who wish to retire due to the vaccination mandates,” the memo reads.

Shea said the department has seen an increase in retirements since June 2020 — which has slightly slowed down this year, but remains “a concern.” Since the start of the COVID pandemic, there were no in-person retirements at the pension section. 

A member of the New York Police Department (NYPD) receives a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccination
Commissioner Shea said the NYPD has seen an increase in retirements since June 2020.
Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“With the vaccine mandate taking effect this weekend, we had the pension section administrators reach out to us with the unknown factor of, ‘What if we get a rush of people showing up?’” Shea said. “They asked us if we could set up our auditorium. We thought it was a win-win. It made sense to do, and we did that.”

“We don’t have the final numbers yet,” he added. “At the end of the month, every month it tends to run higher. That’s how our business works. We’ll know by next week if the vaccine mandates had any effect in terms of rising that number up any more.”

Shea told “Good Day New York” he doesn’t expect “significant increases” because of the mandate, “but it is possible and we’ll see when the numbers bear out.”

Cops and other city workers will still have the chance to get the first shot Saturday or Sunday but won’t get the bonus. Those who are still unvaccinated by Monday will be sent home without pay. 


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