'Bureaucratic Gymnastics': Police Sound Off on Vaccine Delay for NYPD

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Posted: Dec 30, 2020 9:45 AM
'Bureaucratic Gymnastics': Police Sound Off on Vaccine Delay for NYPD

Source: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

The Detective Endowments' Association, the labor union that represents 20,000 active and retired New York City Detectives, released a message on Tuesday regarding the apparent delay in getting the COVID vaccine to the city's men and women in uniform. 

Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo spoke on behalf of the group.

"The lives of cops and the New Yorkers we serve are being put in grave danger with the delay of the available COVID-19 vaccine to the NYPD," he begins. 

Representative-elect Nicole Malliotakis, who earned the support of NYPD officers during her campaign against Democratic Rep. Max Rose, shared their sentiments. 

The NYPD's firefighters were granted access to the vaccine this week.

"I have every confidence that this vaccine will keep New York City firefighters healthy and safe in the course of their duties," the FDNY firefighters said in a statement. "The vaccine's arrival and distribution is the turning point in the war on COVID-19, and this is pivotal to getting society reopened. We applaud the New York State health officials who have prioritized Firefighters, as our safety is of vital importance to this City."

But for some reason police officers are still waiting. PBA President Patrick J. Lynch released his own statement on the vaccine rollout.

"Once again, politicians in Albany and City Hall are wasting time with bureaucratic gymnastics instead of looking at the reality on the ground," Lynch said. "New York City police officers aren't just on the front line. We cover every part of the front line: from hospitals and housing complexes to the corner store. We have more daily contact with New Yorkers than any other city agency. We are continuing to press for vaccines to be made available to police officers as soon as possible."

Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is making drug rehab facilities the next priority, reportedly putting them on the same level as emergency medical services personnel, and medical examiners.

"These are congregate facilities," Cuomo said of the decision. "Congregate facilities are problematic. That’s where you have a lot of people in concentration,” Cuomo said during a virtual press conference. “Nursing homes are obviously the most problematic because they’re congregate plus older, vulnerable people. OASAS facilities, what we call the O facilities, they’re congregate — not necessarily older — but congregate facilities.”