Photo Credit: NYPD via Twitter
The New York Police Department

With less than 48 hours left until New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccination deadline for city workers — and following a state judge’s refusal to pause the deadline — police union leaders are warning New Yorkers that the NYPD brass is unprepared for the staffing shortage that will result from implementation of the mandate.

As of Thursday morning, police say 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 a plan to address the possible staffing shortage, nor has it published its own policies to implement the mandate, the police unions say.

In a video message to NYPD members on Wednesday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea acknowledged that many practical questions remain unanswered.

“I can’t tell you what rules don’t exist yet,” Shea told members, “so I don’t want to give you bad information.”

Police unions for the patrol force, detectives, sergeants, lieutenants and captains united to condemn the cancelation of the COVID-19 testing program, warning that chaos will erupt when thousands of cops are pulled off the streets to enforce the vaccine mandate.

“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,” PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said in a statement.

“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 described the enforcement of the vaccine mandate on NYPD detectives as political grandstanding, rather than a clinical necessity. “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,” DiGiacomo said.

“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,” he said. “The COVID testing program was working. The Mayor’s vaccine mandate is needless, self-serving and politically motivated.”

Sergeants Benevolent Association President Vincent Vallelong urged New Yorkers to “wake up,” calling the vaccine mandate “‘Defund the Police’ in disguise.

“Criminals know this,” he noted, “and they will take full advantage of the situation to create chaos on our streets.”

Lieutenants Benevolent Association President Lou Turco added that LBA 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.”

Likewise, Captains Endowment Association President Chris Monahan called the situation “a failure of leadership,” saying members of the NYPD captains’ union also 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 One Police Plaza, not City Hall,” he said.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.