Officials: 110 members of Nassau PD, 59 in Suffolk PD have tested positive for COVID-19
Dozens of Long Island police officers are out sick with the coronavirus, leaving concerns about the impact on public safety in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
As of Monday morning, 110 members of the Nassau Police Department have tested positive for COVID-19, 96 of which are sworn police officers. In Suffolk, there are now 53 sworn police officers with COVID-19, and six civilian members with it.
More than 170 Nassau Police Department members are in quarantine, while more than 100 in the Suffolk Police Department are quarantined.
Despite the figures, both counties' police commissioners are striking a reassuring tone.
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says they've put their plainclothes units back in uniform, among other changes.
"We're taking our POP cops, putting them back into the chart," says Ryder. "Again, schools are closed and all those other functions and things we normally do, so getting them into uniform, (and) will backfill."
Suffolk Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart says numbers in the department have been "manageable" so far.
"So we just move people from patrol commands to fill up the patrol cars," says Hart. "As we move through this, we know the numbers are going to get more and more increased, so we are planning accordingly and we have different commands in the detective division, outside of patrol, that we will move into to backfill if necessary."
Hart also says they had a recruit class graduate early, bringing 60 new officers on the force specifically assigned to enforce Gov. Andrew Cuomo's social distancing orders.
In both counties, many officers who were sick have recovered and returned to work.
"The men and women are doing a great job coming back to work and that's what's important," says Ryder. "When they're healthy, we don't want them back if they're not."
As News 12 has reported, first responders across Long Island are being flooded with 911 calls. Police have asked that unless it's an emergency to just call your local precinct directly.