NYPD police officers skip masks during disaster preparedness drill

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Well, they weren't drilling for a pandemic, that's for sure.

Dozens of police officers descended on Randall’s Island on Monday for a disaster preparedness drill, with hardly any in the crowd crowded with facial masks, the photos show.

Only three of the more than 100 in a blue sea can be seen wearing the proper protective gear, despite being huddled together during the drill, photos from the scene show.

Hours later, photos from the latest New York police academy class emerged, depicting an overwhelming number of officers who don't have or cover their faces inappropriately.

In one shot, nearly 70 of the rookies don't cover their faces as they sit side by side listening to the president of the Police Charitable Association, Patrick Lynch, who is also unmasked.

Members of the City Council have repeatedly insisted on the New York Police Department for ignoring the mask directives, something Brass dismissed at a hearing earlier this month.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, asked municipalities to have their police officers enforce the mask orders during a radio appearance Monday afternoon.

"They have to enforce compliance and their police department has to do it," Cuomo told WAMC with Alan Chartock.

The masks prevent users from transmitting the coronavirus to others, and the official directive for the New York Police is that officers must use some form of coverage to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

That sparked a heated exchange between Department Head Terence Monahan and the city's health commissioner in March.

Monahan, the highest-ranking uniformed police officer, has previously been caught with his mask on multiple times, shake hands and kneeling with the protesters, despite the directive.

A department spokeswoman admitted that officers should have worn masks "but the goal of this drill was an emergency response and that is what we seek to measure."

"The goal was to get our officers to the location and establish it as quickly as possible," the spokeswoman said.

Officers were practicing a Level 4 mobilization, the city's highest level of disaster response, which has not been used outside of training since the September 11 terror attacks.

However, the PD did not immediately address the lack of facial covers at the academy.

Almost 6,000 officers have contracted the virus, killing 46 uniformed and civilian members.

Additional reports by Bernadette Hogan



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