New York State Legislators Call on NYPD Inspector General to Mandate NYPD Officers to Use Personal Protective Equipment While on Duty

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New York State Legislators Call on NYPD Inspector General to Mandate NYPD Officers to Use Personal Protective Equipment While on Duty
Albany, NY — Today Senator Keven Parker and Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, along with their colleagues in the State Legislature, sent NYPD Inspector General Phil Eure a letter voicing their concerns regarding the absence of personal protective equipment (PPE) amongst on-duty NYPD officers. Senator Parker and Assemblywoman Cruz stated that complaints received by their respective offices report NYPD officers in close contact with each other and with the public while not wearing face coverings. The CDC has stated that the use of cloth or medical face coverings is the most effective way to slow the spread of the virus.
On April 15, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.17, mandating that any individual over age two be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering while in public. Not only do the vast majority of law enforcement officers fail to comply with the state decree, but it also violates the NYPD’s internal policy requiring officers to wear masks when interacting with the public. In light of the overwhelming evidence reflecting the effectiveness of masks against COVID-19, the NYPD’s behavior poses a significant and inexcusable threat to the public, the letter goes on to state.
The Police Benevolent Association noted earlier this year that the City failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment to their officers. More than six months after the onset of the pandemic, it remains unclear whether the NYPD has been provided with sufficient PPE. The letter concludes by requesting Inspector General Eure to move quickly in investigating concerns regarding the lack of police officers wearing PPE while in public, especially with the looming possibility of a resurgence of the virus in the City.
“We need the police to practice what they preach. The NYPD is responsible for enforcing mask wearing policy, they can not effectively do that while wantonly flaunting the violation of that same policy,” said Senator Kevin Parker.
“While New Yorkers have been targeted, fined and at times threatened with arrest and detention for not wearing masks, NYPD officers blatantly ignore the very rules they are charged with enforcing. This is a classic example of the “do as I say, not as I do” mentality within the NYPD. In black and brown communities, where the spread of the disease has the highest prevalence, usage of personal protective equipment is particularly crucial amongst those who have face-to-face interaction with the public,” said Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz.

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