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New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson for the NYPD told Fox News on Friday.
Deputy Commissioner Richard Esposito said Shea is "doing well" and "staying home and he is running the police department remotely."
NYC MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO DEFENDS NYPD VACCINATION PLANS AMID DISPUTE WITH CUOMO
The police force said 463 employees tested positive for the virus this month. The news comes days after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that members of law enforcement have been greenlighted to receive their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccination, despite conflicts with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who hadn't yet approved the measure under state guidelines.
The NYPD faced a tough year in 2020, as sweeping cuts were made to the department's workforce despite an uptick in crime that crescendoed at 447 murders recorded as of Tuesday, a 41% increase over last year and the largest number since 2011. The number of people shot has more than doubled last year’s total, nearing a 14-year high.
NEW YORK CITY SHOOTINGS, HOMICIDES SOARED IN 2020, CRIME DATA SHOWS
New York City, struck hard by the coronavirus, which ravished the city's economy and killed record numbers of people — making it the epicenter of the country in the early months of the pandemic — also fought through an excess of violence, lootings, and slayings resulting from numerous Black Lives Matter protests after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Civil rights activists were partially successful in calls to defund the police, with de Blasio making $1 billion slashes to the budget at the behest of local lawmakers.
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"We're definitely coming out of that dark period," Shea said at police headquarters Tuesday. "The confluence of COVID into the protests into all of the debate about defunding the police — I can’t imagine a darker period."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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