MANHATTAN, NYC, NY – Law Enforcement Today has learned from news sources that an NYPD officer working the Manhattan borough has tested positive for COVID-19.
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) March 18, 2020
With the news breaking on the positive test, apparently dozens of other officers from the NYPD have called out of work, greatly reducing the police presence within the 1st precinct.
— MALatinoPolice. (@MALatinoPolice) March 18, 2020
A spokesman for the precinct stated that 31 officers in total have called out of work, with 17 of them complaining of experiencing flu-like symptoms. The very symptoms that have been linked with COVID-19.
— RebeccaSolomonTV (@RebeccaRSolomon) March 18, 2020
This reduction in officers represents roughly one-fifth of the precinct’s police force.
The spokesman highlighted the impact, stating:
“That’s a very large percent of the precinct out sick.”
Of the 31 officers out sick, it was reported that the precinct’s commanding officer as well as an executive officer were among them. Sources also indicate that 14 of the officers who called out sick cited that their leave was not in relation to COVID-19.
My boy, former 8404 Corpsman now NYPD officer just caught the Covid-19. This virus is getting to close to home
— BrooklynGunna (@gunna_brooklyn) March 18, 2020
With the latest positive test relating to COVID-19 within the NYPD, this has brought the total of NYPD employees affected to four.
The spokesperson noted that the 31 currently taking sick leave are being closely monitored, but have not yet been tested for the virus.
(Below – teaser of the Law Enforcement Today newscast talking about the virus. Watch the full episode on www.letunity.com)
As of now, the identity of any of the officers have not been revealed.
New York City is also home to the first reported corrections employee to have passed away from the virus. He sadly left us on March 15th.
David Perez, who was 56-years-old at the time of his passing, worked as a corrections investigator with the New York Department of Corrections.
“We’re in the midst of a lot of stress, a lot of grief,” Raymond Perez said of his brother.
Correction Department investigator David Perez died of coronavirus.
“My brother was one of the best men on earth — very honorable.” The dept. was "heartbroken." https://t.co/NAvPxoxDaK
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) March 16, 2020
Perez’s brother, Raymond, spoke about the heartache the family is experiencing:
“He just passed away Sunday morning so we’re in the midst of a lot of stress, a lot of grief. My brother was one of the best men on earth — very honorable. He cared for his mother up until the last day he lived with her.”
The mentioning of “the last day he lived with her” is likely in reference to the period when Perez was first quarantined and then later hospitalized for COVID-19 complications.
Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann did confirm on March 16th that Perez had fallen victim and passed away due to COVID-19: “Last night, a member of DOC staff who had tested positive for COVID-19 passed away at a local hospital.”
Brann also explained that Perez had not been in contact with any inmates in custody for at least one month’s time before his passing. Brann also stressed in her statement that the department is taking every precaution possible to avoid any further spread of the virus:
“As we endure this loss to our community, we will continue to do everything to keep our facilities safe for everyone. Consistent with CDC and DOHMH guidance, anyone who was in close contact with this individual has been notified and appropriate precautions taken.”
Perez had been with the department for over a decade before his passing. It was also revealed that Perez did suffer from unspecified preexisting conditions that may have complicated the viral infection.
A memo was sent to all corrections staff following the passing of the corrections investigator, which part of it noted the following:
“There will be challenging days of ahead of us. We ask you to remain vigilant and follow all of the established protocols in order to protect yourselves and others from COVID-19. Together we will get through this.”
According to Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Peter Thorne, there was one individual who worked closely alongside Perez before he passed away. Thorne noted that the employee was placed under a 14-day quarantine for the interest of safety.
As of March 16th, there are a reported 950 cases of COVID-19 within the state of New York, with 463 having been identified in New York City, according to Governor Cuomo.
2 more New Yorkers have died from the coronavirus — (a man returning from Italy, 89, and David Perez, 56, a Correction Dept. investigator)
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) March 16, 2020
Of the known infections within the state, 7 people have passed away within New York.
As for Perez’s brother Raymond, he’s clearly trying to cope with the loss of his brother: “[My brother] is going to be dearly missed. He was just a great, great guy.”
It’s sad that Perez was taken by the pandemic that has been spreading throughout the world. We mustn’t let Perez’s passing be in vain, as it is up to each and everyone one of us to practice as many precautionary measures within our purview in light of dealing with COVID-19.
Our prayers go out to the family and loved ones of David Perez.
Not far from New York, a woman in New Jersey found herself in serious trouble after trying to make light of COVID-19 while being arrested.
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You know how they say it’s illegal to yell “fire” in a crowded building? Well, a woman in New Jersey is facing charges for something quite similar.
Except she told police officers, after coughing on them while getting processed at the station, that she had COVID-19.
New Jersey woman allegedly coughs on police officers, falsely claims she has coronavirus after being arrested https://t.co/gz06DVFooL
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) March 18, 2020
Now, that woman is facing charges for said claim.
According to authorities, a 28-year-old woman from Wayne, New Jersey was arrested after she crashed her vehicle while she was intoxicated.
The woman, Lea Piazza, was hemmed up after the single-car accident on March 12th in Hanover.
When the inebriated woman was getting processed at the station, police asked her to kindly cover her mouth while she was coughing.
New Jersey woman allegedly coughs on police officers, falsely claims she has coronavirus after being arrested https://t.co/nslBnFX5vI
— WebsFavorites.Com – All your Favorite News Here! (@websfavourites) March 18, 2020
Her response to that was allegedly the following:
“Oh, by the way, I have the coronavirus and so do you now.”
Reportedly, Piazza further claimed that she’d contracted COVID-19 from her boyfriend, who she alleged carried the virus.
Police did not take that comment lightly, and three officers that had come into contact with the suspect immediately self-quarantined. That was, until the boyfriend of Piazza contacted police and described her claims as being “100% false.”
Now, on top of the charges she was facing related to that drunken crash, Piazza is now also facing charges for creating a false public alarm related to her alleged comments to police.
We at Law Enforcement Today are pleased to see the department taking that action seriously, because even if that woman thought she was being funny, there’s nothing hilarious at causing a false-panic.
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