Only 89 NYC Cops on Leave Over Vaccine Mandate Despite Lawsuit, Union Opposition

Only 89 New York Police Department (NYPD) officers were placed on unpaid leave following the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, despite opposition from some officers and a lawsuit filed by New York City's police union.

During a recent interview with NY1 News, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said, "the number of employees sent home without pay has grown. I think yesterday we were at 34 uniformed officers. It's up to 89."

"But when you take into account our size, that's .25 of one percent," Shea continued. "It'll probably move again for maybe another day or so, but when you look at where we are, we're in really good shape."

When asked if the department has had to move shifts around due to officers being placed on unpaid leave, Shea said "no we really haven't...it's really status quo."

During a press conference on Monday, Shea first announced that 34 uniformed officers were sent home on unpaid leave after opposing the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, implanted by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"I would remind people that's 34 out of roughly a 35,000 workforce," Shea said during the press conference on Monday.

The remarks by Shea come shortly after the Police Benevolent Association of New York City (NYCPBA) criticized the city's vaccine mandate and warned that thousands of NYPD employees were unvaccinated and faced unpaid leave.

"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, November 1, unless they have applied for a religious or medical exemption," the police union said in a statement on October 28.

"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," Union President Patrick Lynch said.

The police union recently protested against the city's vaccine mandate and also filed a lawsuit. According to the New York Times, the lawsuit asserted that the city's vaccine mandate does not include adequate protections for officers who oppose the COVID-19 vaccine due to religious reasons.

In addition to the NYPD, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) was also required to be vaccinated under the city's mandate and FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro recently criticized firefighters for using paid sick leave to protest the mandate.

"The excessive sick leave ... because of their anger at the vaccine mandate for all city employees is unacceptable," Nigro said in a statement.

A recent picture posted on Twitter showed a New York fire company displaying a sign that said "Firehouse closed due to De Blasio mandate," but a spokesperson for the FDNY denied that the fire company was closed and said that the sign has been removed.

Newsweek reached out to the NYCPBA for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

NYPD
Eighty-nine NYPD officers were placed on unpaid leave over the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Above, a New York City police SUV with two NYPD counter-terrorism officers sits on Broadway on April 15, 2016. Raymond Boyd/Getty