New York police officers will by patrolling on foot and by vehicle Sunday night, watching for crowds of people and informing them about the statewide stay-at-home order. Their role will be more about education, than enforcement, a law enforcement official tells CNN.
Officers at each precinct will have a list of hot spots, stores and other locations in their sectors where people are known to congregate. They’ll keep an eye out for groups of people and if spotted, they will tell them to disperse, the official said.
The law enforcement official told CNN that if groups refuse to disperse, there won’t be arrests. Rather, officers will try to convince them that they need to leave and not be so close together, the official said.
There aren’t enough patrol cars, so some officers will be on foot, canvassing the neighborhoods. So far, officers have had a big presence at supermarkets and food shops, making sure crowds are under control, but not having any overcrowding issues so far, the official said.
The NYPD currently has 98 employees, 70 uniformed and 28 civilian workers, who have tested positive for the coronavirus.