The New York Police Department (NYPD) has taken action against a lieutenant and a captain for using fake vaccination cards. With this, they violated the department's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
The NYPD has not only stripped Lieutenant Joseph Marsella and Captain Desmond Morales of their shields and guns, but also placed both of them on modified duty, assigning to desk work. The department launched an internal affairs investigation into the violation of vaccine mandate, immediately after receiving information in this regard.
As per the NYPD's vaccine mandate, cops, who do not take vaccines, would have to go on unpaid leave. Since the mandate came into effect on October 29, around 6,500 personnel have requested the NYDP to exempt them from the rule on religious or medical grounds.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Public Information John Miller, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 in March 2020, said that violating the vaccine mandate was a serious issue, and the department would not spare anyone, who would violate the mandate. According to the deputy commissioner, such a violation would have an impact on personal health of a NYPD employee, and also on their colleagues'.
Miller stressed that the NYPD had prepared the mandate after considering the health aspects of its employees. The mandate also has a clause that reportedly mentions how to apply for an exemption and the two-level appeals process. He made it clear that Lieutenant Marsella and Captain Morales would be punished, if the investigation found that they submitted false vaccine documents to the department, and breached the rule.
It may be noted that Marsella had joined the department in 2008, and became a lieutenant in December 2020. Later, the department assigned him to the 72nd Precinct. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Morales has recently been assigned to the NYPD's Grand Larceny Division. So far, the two accused cops have made no comments on the issue. In November, the department came to know that at least 10 city Emergency Medical Service workers were selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. Currently, the Department of Investigation is probing the allegation.
The violation of COVID-19 vaccination mandate by the two NYPD officials has triggered a sensation in the US, as the government is trying hard to contain the spread of the deadly virus. On Wednesday (December 15), the Johns Hopkins University stated in a report that the coronavirus pandemic hit the US hard, as the death toll already crossed 800,000-mark in the last couple of years. The virus has claimed around 450,000 lives so far in 2021, despite highly effective vaccines that were first authorized by the government in December 2020 and widely available by spring.