Head of NYPD: ‘No decision yet’ on NYE Times Square plans, talks COVID surge, incoming commissioner

Local News

NEW YORK — NYPD Commissioner Dermot Sea is preparing to help New York usher in the new year in Times Square while ringing in a new season in his own personal life.

The police commissioner spoke with the PIX11 Morning News for his final one-on-one, discussing the city’s New Year’s Eve plans, the omicron COVID surge, vaccinations in the police force and what his plans are for 2022.

New Year’s Eve in NYC

Shea plans to spend his last day as police commissioner in Times Square. It will be his last large-scale safety operation, unless COVID causes the city to scale back.

Shea said plans are “a wait-and-see” situation. There’s no current decision made, but there are plans for both a large-scale event or a smaller celebration, he added.

Surge in omicron cases

As of Monday, about 7.8% of the police department called out sick with flu-like symptoms, which is double from about a week prior, according to Shea.

The police commissioner reminded everyone that we are in New York City, so whatever happens to New Yorkers also happens to the NYPD. 

They are not seeing a dramatic increase in hospitalizations, and Shea said about 88% of the force has been vaccinated.

“I think we’re in good shape,” he said.

Vaccine mandate arrests

Is the NYPD responsible for vaccine mandates? Shea said they do not have any role in enforcing vaccine mandates, but added there is a fine line.

If police are called by business owners, they will come by and will try to keep the peace.

Future plans

Shea said he has met with the incoming police commissioner Keechant Sewell and said she has a good heart and will “do great things.”

“She’s going to do a phenomenal job and she’s waiting to go,” Shea added.

As for his future plans, Shea jokingly said he hopes the Mets win the World Series, but also added that he will announce what’s next for him soon. 

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