The NYPD should “set a good example” and mask up, a New York state senator wrote in a letter to the city’s top cop — urging him to enforce the mask mandate among the rank and file.
“It’s extremely poor modeling for New Yorkers and it suggests that the NYPD somehow are above the law — which has been the rallying cry of the protesters for months,” Manhattan Democrat Brad Hoylman told The Post.
“This also discourages any citizen from approaching a cop if they are standing on a street corner or in a park without a mask,” the lawmaker added.
“Our police commissioner should enforce the mask-wearing.”
Members of the NYPD have been spotted repeatedly flouting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order mandating face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible — even inside police headquarters.
Hoylman’s public reprimand comes just weeks after new data showed coronavirus was the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths among law enforcement in the US.
Cuomo also called out the NYPD Tuesday during his press conference over the lack of mask-wearing, asking, “What signal does that send?”
“Wearing a mask is the law,” he said. “But the police officer who’s supposed to enforce the law doesn’t wear a mask.”
Hoylman’s letter noted “numerous complaints” he’s received, including from his constituents saying “that social distancing protocols and mandatory face covering usage is not in place at the NYPD tow pound at West 38th Street and 12th Avenue both for NYPD officers and individuals waiting on line.”
Post reporters have spotted maskless cops gathering in groups indoors at 1 Police Plaza at least a handful of times — and numerous photos and videos of officers without face coverings have been posted to social media.
Just days after the governor tapped the police department in mid-September to help enforce a mask crackdown on NYC subways, one cop was captured on video calling a straphanger a “male version of Karen” after the man asked why they weren’t covering their faces.
Shea, though, has repeatedly dismissed the concerns publicly, saying the department stresses mask-wearing and the photos captured are merely individual moments and not reflective of the police force overall.
Hoylman wrote in the correspondence Monday, “I urge Dermot Shea to enforce the face-covering mandate within his ranks to both set a good example for New Yorkers and protect public health.”
“I know you agree that the NYPD has a unique responsibility to model lawful and prudent behavior, which has only become more important during the current public health crisis.”
A spokesperson for the NYPD did not immediately respond.
Additional reporting by Tina Moore
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