Staffing Shortages Force NYPD to Order All Officers to Work Over New Year’s

Staffing Shortages Force NYPD to Order All Officers to Work Over New Year's police officers walk through empty times square Police officers on New Year's Eve in New York City, Dec. 31, 2020. (Photo by COREY SIPKIN / AFP) (Photo by COREY SIPKIN/AFP via Getty Images)

By Brian Freeman | Wednesday, 29 December 2021 12:54 PM

All uniformed members of the New York Police Department who were scheduled to be off for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day must now report to work, CBS New York reported on Wednesday.

A departmental order canceling all scheduled days off for the two days of the holiday was issued due to staffing shortages caused by the coronavirus.

More than 6,000 NYPD officers — about 17% of the 36,000-member uniformed force — are out sick, police sources told the New York Post.

That total includes some 3,000 officers who have flu-like symptoms and more than 1,300 who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the sources said.

The numbers out sick are about five times the normal rate for the NYPD, which usually has between 3%-4% out sick on any given day. However, those numbers have been increasing during the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

About 88% of all those working at the NYPD are fully vaccinated.

"Patrol is particularly hard hit," one high-ranking police source said, with another source saying that the NYPD is sending counterterrorism officers to two Staten Island precincts for patrol coverage to help fill the gap.

An NYPD spokesperson told Fox News that, in addition to providing adequate security throughout the city, all uniformed members of the service who would regularly be off must report for duty on the two days of the holiday "in order to provide police coverage for New Year’s celebrations in Times Square."

Due to the sharp increase in coronavirus cases, the city’s New Year’s Eve celebration will be significantly scaled back, with the ball drop event in Times Square hosting only about 15,000 people, far below the approximately 58,000 who would typically attend before the pandemic.