The number of NYPD members infected with the coronavirus more than doubled Friday as the outbreak forced the department to move up its graduation of cadets and cancel the next class of cops at the academy.
Police sources said 52 cops were confirmed to have the bug Friday, up from 20 officers reported infected less than 24 hours ago.
One of those officers worked on the second floor of One Police Plaza and was believed to be in Real-Time Crime Center as recently as Monday, a source told to media.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Friday the department has seen “a notable increase” in cops calling in sick over the last few days.
“I don’t like what I’ve seen over the last four days,” the commissioner said, but added he believes the NYPD “is in a good place.”
“That’s something we are watching closely,” Shea added. He would not say how many cops had called out.
Officials have said they expect the number of ill cops to increase over the coming days with the state ramping up its testing capabilities.
The 572 rookie cops hit the streets on Friday, reporting to precincts across the city for their first day in the ranks of the NYPD, according to police sources.
The class was originally scheduled to graduate next week but once the COVID-19 pandemic began wreaking havoc on New York over the last week, the recruits were given their final exam and hurried out to patrol.
The virus also forced the NYPD to postpone the next class, which was slated to start at the academy in Queens on April 6, because “it would expose recruits to unnecessary risk of infection,” a spokeswoman said.
No date has been set for the rookies’ delayed graduation ceremony or the start of the next class of cadets.
News of how the virus has affected police training comes a day after the NYPD suspended its volunteer auxiliary police force.