In an email sent out on Friday, officers were told that “they are required to wear face coverings at all times when performing duties in public areas, department facilities and whenever social distancing is not possible,” ABC 7 News reported.
Officers must also wear appropriate and proper face masks rather than scarves, bandanas or handkerchiefs. Failure to adhere to the rules will result in disciplinary action, though the memo did not specify specific punishments.
The memo was sent out from the NYPD’s Personnel and Human Resources division, the NY Post reported. Officers at police headquarters heard repeated messages over loudspeakers reminding them to wear face coverings.
FILE – This file photo shows NYPD Deputy Chief McCarthy taking a knee near protesters and other officers as they take part in a march for George Floyd, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in New York. Few of the officers are wearing face masks while on-duty. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
“It is our responsibility to set the example for our great city. And do everything we can to help ensure we do not have another hospitalized member bring this deadly infection into our homes, or have another funeral,” Chief of Department Terence Monahan said in a video memo that was sent to all officers’ phones.
The new measure was implemented following public complaints that officers were frequently seen without masks while on-duty, Insider reported.
“Wearing a mask is the law,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press briefing last month. “But the police officer who’s supposed to enforce the law doesn’t wear a mask.”
The city has seen a few “concerning clusters,” with the Health Department tracking four clusters of coronavirus cases in Southern Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Central Queens and Far Rockaway.
A total of 12 neighborhoods in the city have registered positivity rates above 3% in recent days, according to ABC.
Fox News has reached out to the NYPD with a request for comment on this story.