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Police Officers—and their families—are on the front lines of a new threat.

As the coronavirus’ stranglehold tightened on the city, that’s the message the Police Benevolent Association hopes to convey to New Yorkers in a radio ad that began airing March 20.

Filed Complaint

“We can’t stay home. Our mission comes first. We have to protect you on the front lines of a global health crisis. And we’re not just battling the virus. We’re still fighting crime, responding to emergencies and keeping our city running,” the union’s president, Patrick J. Lynch intones in the nearly one-minute spot that aired on several local radio stations.

Last week, the PBA filed a complaint with the State Public Employee Safety & Health Bureau alleging that the NYPD failed to provide sufficient protective equipment, including respirator masks and gloves, to Police Officers.

Although the department did provide officers with more supplies, the PBA said, officer still lack an adequate number of the N95 masks. The respirators, however, have been in short supply throughout the nation since the coronavirus outbreak started in this country, with doctors and nurses turning to social media to try and get masks for themselves and their colleagues.

The PBA said commands are also lacking cleaning and sanitizing supplies.

Families ‘Bear Burden’

“It’s important for our leaders to remember that we aren’t the only ones at risk. Our families are in harm’s way, too,” Mr. Lynch said in a statement. “Our husbands and wives and daughters and sons didn’t pick this job, but they share our sacrifice. They deserve respect. But, above all, they deserve to be protected.”

In the radio spot, Mr. Lynch asks listeners to keep in mind not just cops, but their families, who “bear the greatest burden.”

“So when you think about the cops and other frontline workers who are still on the job and at risk, remember we aren’t alone. Our families are on the front lines, too. They deserve all of our respect,” the message concludes.

This is the second one-minute ad the PBA has aired recently. Earlier this month, Robert Williams, who is accused of injuring two officers in a two-day shooting spree in the Bronx in February, featured in a PBA spot to highlight what Mr. Lynch has come to call the “pro-criminal agenda.”

Listeners were directed to the PBA’s website, where they could direct a readymade message to their elected leaders asking that the representatives “take a leadership role in fixing the deteriorating public safety environment in New York State,” specifically by addressing three criminal-justice areas: “the broken parole system,” the new bail and discovery laws, and the contempt shown police.


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