By Tracey Porpora
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The first active-duty police officer has succumbed to the coronavirus (COVID-19), said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea at a press conference on Saturday.
The officer, who died Saturday, was identified as Det. Cedric Dixon, 48, of the 32nd Precinct in Harlem, said Shea. His death follows two civilian deaths in the department over the last two days.
Dennis Dickson, a custodian assigned to Police Headquarters and Giacomina Barr-Brown, who worked at the 49th Precinct Roll Call Office also died of the virus.
“We have lost three members of our family in a little over 48 hours,” Shea said. “As I stand here, I cannot begin to describe what we are feeling; what the families are feeling. We are hurting. We are crying. And we continue to fight. We have no other choice.”
It was reported that more than 10 percent of NYPD officers called out sick on Thursday and even more on Friday.
“Please help us help you and stay inside. Stay inside unless absolutely necessary. We will get through this,” Shea said.
He said there are now hundreds of police officers -- as well as dozens of civilian employees -- who have contracted the coronavirus.