With less than 48 hours left until Mayor de Blasio’s arbitrary vaccination deadline for city workers — and following a state judge’s refusal to pause the deadline despite the mandate’s chaotic rollout — police union leaders are warning New Yorkers that the NYPD brass is completely unprepared for the staffing shortage that will result from the mandate’s haphazard implementation.
As of Thursday morning, there were approximately 10,000 unvaccinated, uniformed NYPD members — which equals the staffing of dozens of patrol precincts — who will be barred from reporting for duty on Monday, Nov. 1, unless they have applied for a religious or medical exemption.
The NYPD has yet to announce any detailed plans to address the possible staffing shortage, and it still hasn’t published its own policies to implement the mandate. In a video message to NYPD members yesterday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea admitted that many practical questions remain unanswered, even though it has been more than a week since Mayor de Blasio announced the mandate and more than a month since Commissioner Shea publicly threw his support behind the mandate.
“I can’t tell you what rules don’t exist yet,” Shea told members two days before the deadline, “so I don’t want to give you bad information.”
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch: “New York City cannot afford to have a police department that is weak, disorganized and totally dominated by the irrational whims of City Hall. Unfortunately, that’s what the NYPD has become. Commissioner Shea and his team should have told the Mayor that this mandate and his arbitrary Friday deadline were going to throw NYPD operations into chaos. Instead, they froze like deer in headlights. Now cops and New Yorkers are all wondering: what exactly will happen with the vaccine deadline strikes?”
Detectives’ Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said: “While New York City is in the middle of a crime crisis, Mayor de Blasio wants to sideline hundreds of Detectives just to play politics. Our Detectives already worked selflessly through 2020, during the height of the pandemic when there was no vaccine. Now the Mayor shows his thanks by wanting to sideline thousands of cops when we know the testing program was working. Our members are needed to investigate the most heinous of crimes. City Hall will once again turn its back on crime victims as investigations will ultimately be stalled and violent offenders will go free. There is no need for this. The COVID testing program was working. The Mayor’s vaccine mandate is needless, self-serving and politically motivated.”
Sergeants Benevolent Association President Vincent Vallelong said: “New Yorkers need to wake up. Mayor de Blasio’s mandate is ‘Defund the Police’ in disguise. Criminals know this, and they will take full advantage of the situation to create chaos on our streets.”
Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco said: “Our members feel like City Hall is intentionally keeping them in the dark. The vaccine-or-test policy has been working, and we’ve been given no explanation as to why it was scrapped. Nor are there any clear guidelines on what exactly happens to members who are placed on unpaid leave. Many members believe Mayor de Blasio is creating chaos on purpose to coerce them into getting the shot.”
Captains Endowment Association President Chris Monahan said: “This situation is a failure of leadership. Our members don’t have the information they need to keep their commands running after the deadline hits. When we ask top NYPD executives for that information, they point the finger at the de Blasio administration. The NYPD needs to be run out of 1PP, not City Hall.”